By Clairissa Moore
We feel the weight of it all every day. To put it frankly, teachers here at East use way too much paper. Whether it comes in daily handouts, or textbooks that aren’t used, the paper we actually use is obviously much less than what is given. This problem likely stems from the transition the district is making from paper-and-pencil only to a “121,” or one-to-one, as in one computer per student. Since we aren’t at 121 status yet, teachers usually provide physical documents as well as digital assignments. However, many students already have their own computer, so for them, the paper is useless. For example, in my AP U.S. History class last year, every student in the class was provided a textbook, however my class and our teacher eventually realized that it was easier for everyone if we just used a pdf file of the textbook. After that, about twenty $200 textbooks sat collecting dust in our lockers.
All this paper has a huge impact on our school environment. Firstly, it’s heavy and cumbersome. A few sheets of paper isn’t much, but it adds up quick and we end up with a Sunday New York Times in our backpacks and on our desks that’s just going to be thrown away. Secondly, all that paper is just going to be thrown away. As some of you may know, the recycling bins in the building and the trash bins all end up in the same place― landfills. And thirdly, it comes with a cost. Disposal itself is a pretty penny, but so is printing, the paper itself, and the textbooks that go unused. Think about how much benefit limiting paper would have. The cut on costs could help bring us closer to 121 status.