Let’s Save Paper!
I looked aghast at the pages in front of me. “You have to re-do this assignment. I told you to do just one program per page. Submit it next time you come to lab” the lab assistant bellowed. I stared at the some 10 pages lying in the file. Pages with one face empty & the other filled with some C programs. It looked neat enough to me, I’d even tried to improve my less-than-legible handwriting as this was a lab file. But no, I was to redo it just because there were 2 programs on one sheet. My programs, specially the types that say “WAP to input 10 employees’ records..” they hardly take up more than 10 lines. To waste an entire face on 10 lines was a crime or so I thought.
This made me think, after we give our exams & get our grades, what happens to these files? A simple chat with another classmate revealed that it all went to the local raddi-wala. Wow! I stay up all night, work out the problem, painstakingly pen it down, let it travel through many other hands( for the CP-copy paste work) and it ultimately ends as someone’s bhelpuri plate??
Is it just my college? Nope. It’s the case everywhere. Any school or college you go to, there are tons of lab records, project submissions lying in the store, waiting to be sold to the raddi-wala. Yes, that is a form of recycling I agree, but wouldn’t it be better to send it to some recycling plant?(if only I knew where to find one) Ok forget the re-cycling or reusing part, how about simply reducing the amount of paper we use? Here’s how:
- ü No lab files: Especially for IT students at least! I mean what’s the point? 90% of the students follow the CP rule while writing the records. Many don’t even write it themselves, assigning the work to some friend or junior. The whole point of writing a lab record when a teacher can simply check the laptop or PC is lost on me. Teachers may argue that students will copy the programs, but hello? They already copy the lab files, at least copying the programs will save the time spent on writing the records.
- ü No notebooks: This is for school kids. By no notebooks I mean no separate notebooks for each & every thing. I remember we had a “homework”, “class-work”, “test” copy for EVERY subject! Agreed it’s more organized but wouldn't it be economical to do everything in one copy? It will save the student from punishment if they forget one of the many copies & also decrease the weight of the school bag (which even puts Atlas to shame).
- ü No projects/assignments: Unless you stay in some remote village without electricity, you are bound to have access to a computer. And nowadays kids learn to use a mobile/PC before they learn the alphabet. Thus it is safe to suggest that all school or college assignments & projects be submitted in soft copy. Don’t preach about carbon emissions or wastage of electricity-watching a Hollywood flick or playing NFS doesn't exactly qualify as an eco-friendly activity either.
- ü Online exams: Now this is something which has already been started by many institutes. Although it’s mostly limited to entrance exams or competitions, I think we can come up with online semester & Board exams as well.
- ü What you can do now: All the above steps may not be easy to implement, however what can be done by you is simple-use both faces of a page as far as possible, don’t throw away old notebooks if they still have unused pages, don’t sell old books to the raddi-walas (I hate eating my bhelpuri out of a Physics textbook sheet) give the books to juniors so they don’t have to buy new ones & suggest the above measures to your friends too. Spreading awareness is important!
These are some of the ideas I have come up with (sorry there aren’t more, it’s a Sunday morning after all!). This is just pertaining to academic institutions, I’m sure you guys would have better ideas on how to help save paper everywhere else. Which takes me to the next point-why save paper? Now every kid can tell you paper is mostly made from trees( or recycled paper).
(Checkout this site to know more about paper making process-http://www.conservatree.com/learn/EnviroIssues/TreeStats.shtml )
As it says there, one tree makes nearly 8000 sheets of paper. Considering how many copies, records etc we use in a year, I can say at least one or two trees are wasted for each individual. Now wouldn’t that be great if we can save a tree a year? C’mon, doing something for the environment is better than simply watching it degenerate! You don’t have to ‘go green’ wearing white tees to show your support, small steps like reducing the use of paper can work wonders! Let’s save paper…
Happy World Environment Day!