By Amy Lapidow (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This month's web exploration concerns tree-free paper, i.e., paper made from post-consumer wastes, hemp, kenaf, bagasse, or any number of materials and plants that do not come from trees, or are recycled paper originally from trees.
In doing research for this article I learned that kenaf (hibiscus cannabinus) is native of Africa related to cotton and okra. It grows quickly and needs no pesticides or fertilizers, making the paper acid and chlorine free. It contains 25% less lignin than wood fiber, and is fully recyclable. PCW100 Inc. Environmental Paper and Printing (www.pcw100.com/ktf.htm)provides a brief description of the process and has sample packs available. www. wilcompulp.com, a pulp and paper consulting and marketing firm, offers six reasons why the pulping process is superior: 1) less water is used 2) less net loss of material 3) no recovery boiler 4) no noxious odors 5) cost effective small mills and 6) no elemental chlorine. Bookbuilders West, a publishing group explains kenaf in their newsletter <www.bookbuilders.com/9602.kenaf.htm>.
Hemp is very popular on the Web. There are several suppliers of hemp paper and many explanations of its ecological soundness, including that it can be recycled eight times as opposed to three times from trees. Ecosource Paper Inc. <www.islandnet.com/~ecodette/ecosource. htm> has many colors in stock. While The Evenscent Press <tree.org/b2.htm> has swatches available and many alternative fiber handmade papers. Agripulp Unlimited <agripulp.com> has a very good explanation of alternative papers and the environmental reasons for recycling and buying recycled papers. I also found a very large company in India, Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd. <www.tnpl.net> that makes paper from bagasse, a form of sugar cane.
The Rainforest Action Network has an excellent list of suppliers of tree free paper at <www.ran.org/ran/ran/ ran_campaigns/rain_wood/wood_con/paper_sources.html>. At ReThinkPaper there is a good list of manufacturers and a list of associations related to tree free paper <www.igc.apc.org/ei/paper/rtp.html>.
Technical note: to research this topic several search engines were used: WebCrawler <www.webcrawler. com>; Magellan <www.mckinley.com>; Lycos <lycos.cs.cmu.edu>; and AltaVista <www.altavista.digital.com>. Each, of course rendered different results from each other as well as within the specific search engine using various search terms and strategies. The easiest strategy was a single word search such as kenaf or hemp. But this retrieved several false drops or uninteresting results, such as Dr. Kenaf's cat litter.
Searching with "kenaf paper" or kenaf and paper retrieved better results. Quotes around words search for an exact phrase. However the most broad range of good results was produced using "tree free" and paper.
Each search engine works differently. Read the HELP screens. They give examples as to how to manipulate each engine. All seem to use Boolean logic meaning the use of the logical operators AND, OR to combine concepts, as in: HEMP AND PAPER. Both these concepts should appear. HEMP OR PAPER means either concept is wanted. OR is best used for synonyms. Most engines allow use of quotations marks to search for an exact phrase, instead of the words appearing in any order. Most also allow some sort of truncation mark, usually a star or asterix, to look for plurals or permutations of a word (paper* for paper, papers, papering....)
Search engines amass their store of websites by registration or automatic searching. A person that creates a website can go to a search engine and submit the new website address. It then becomes part of the engine's base on which to search. The engines also send out websitefinders called robots to look for new websites. When creating a website one can tell the robot what to use to index the site so it can be found later when potential visitors are searching.
Websites come and go everyday with remarkable speed. What was there last week may not be there today, the address may have changed and the owners may or may not have left a forwarding address. Be careful of ignored sites. Many sites are put up and never touched again so the information is old. Questions, comments, suggestions to: email@example.com
Sarah Lowengard (P.O.Box 6611, New York, NY 10128; e-mail: sarahl@Panix.com) is collecting material for a web site devoted to conservation course syllabi, which will be accessible via the Conservation On-Line (CoOL) web page. She would like to receive detailed information about conservation courses taught now or in the recent past.
"Course" should be broadly construed here - formal or informal, offered for academic credit or not. It might be a general introduction to conservation, or focus on any sub-discipline. It might be a public information lecture, with hand-outs or reading lists. A course could be a program offered for professionals in related fields. Or volunteers. She is especially interested in teaching materials used to supplement internships and other individual or small-group instruction.
Submissions should include background information, such as course name, instructor, place taught, date(s), intended audience/academic level. Her main interest, however, is inclusion of detailed course summary, syllabus or outline and reading lists.
Send information and queries to her at the above address.