Killing Trees

Created: 2023.10.19

Costa Rica is still a paper society (2023)

I come from big bad Alberta Canada who has this tiny area of the province called the oil sands (a tiny little dot on the map.)

In the 10 years before I started doing work in Costa Rica, I printed an average of 10 pages a year.

But in Costa Rica it seems that the government and every business wants everything printed out, sometimes 6 copies (but to be fair usually only one or two copies.)

I printed more every month for work in Costa Rica than I do in several years for my much bigger amount of work in Canada.

I guess trees in Costa Rica grow faster than in Canada so they don't mind wasting tons of trees to print out virtually everything.

But I do find it humorous that a small amount of Costa Rica business produces dozens more pollution than a 100 times as much work in Canada - so yes, Costa Rica by that does 12,000 times as much pollution per unit of work. Given that Costa Rica brags about being an eco friendly country and accuses Canada of being the opposite.

Update 2022: Did the Pandemic improve things? My experience - not much, maybe a slight reduction in paper. But they still ask for lots of paper for things that other countries wouldn't even ask the question, let alone waste the paper. Things like documents, in paper, that prove the share ownership "no more than 30 days ago" and ask for paper when other countries are completely content to use electronic transmission.

And before you say "It is a Latin American country" … I can tell you my experience in Panama is in the middle, far less wasted paper than Costa Rica per unit of work, far fewer trees killed for bureaucracy.

As we used to say in Canada … save a tree, kill a beaver.