School Projects and Paper Wastage

Do you ever wonder what happens to your handwritten project file or your exam sheets after an academic year? Well, they are thrown away. I always feel bad, after all this hard work and research my projects are being thrown away.

The best medium of writing down information is paper. Paper is easily available, it is cheap, and it can be stored anywhere. From a student to a teacher everyone uses paper in their day to day lives. Paper is produced from trees. Throughout the world, about 900 million trees are cut down annually. This equates to about 2.47 million trees cut down every day. It is estimated that 24 trees are required to make 1 ton of standard office paper. 

In schools, paper is generally used for writing notes, exams, and projects. Projects are important for grading the students and they present the creativity and content writing skills of the students. Writing down the points taught in class gives the children a quick revision. The students solve various problems and equations in a notebook. During exams, everybody writes in an answer sheet provided by the school. Not only in schools but paper is used in offices, shops, banks, colleges, etc. 

With so much paper in use it is obvious that many pages get wasted. Students tear many papers from their notebooks, many other students play (make aeroplanes and balls) with a clean and unused sheet/sheets of paper. After correction of a test, the test papers and answer sheets are thrown away without even recycling. The old paperwork in many offices is discarded even if only one side of the paper is printed. 

The school projects and assignments also contribute to paper wastage. Unlike notes, notebooks and question paper sets these cannot be handed over to other students and serve no purpose after the assignment is graded by the teacher. Our projects with our best handwriting and best decorations are just kept in a school cupboard until the mass cleaning of all cupboards in the schools. 

I feel that these projects should be made as a digital documentor as a presentation. This will not only save paper but also improve a student’s skill in Microsoft Word and Powerpoint. Due to this ongoing pandemic most of our school projects were to be made in a presentation format. I learned to use many presentation making tools and also saved paper.

How else can we save paper in schools?
  • Re-Use Single-Sided Paper 
  • Do Away with Towel Dispensers in Wash Rooms
  • Settings on All Printers Should be Double-Sided
  • Use computers whenever possible. 
  • Make two-sided copies
  • Re-use printer paper
  • Ask your school to buy recycled or alternative paper products. 
  •  Write smaller and avoid leaving a lot of white space on the page.
  •  Use an erasable board for note taking
  • Reuse notebooks by writing on the unused pages
  • Email assignments rather than printing them out
  • Promote recycling, and have bins in classrooms, libraries, and any areas with copiers and/or printers for easy use.