I wake up bright and early every day, scrambling to find my shower shoes in the dark while attempting to not wake up my peacefully sleeping roommate. First daily activities include brushing my teeth and washing my face. Shoot! I always forget to grab my hand towel! There goes about 15 paper towels. And the girl next to me seems to have forgotten her hand towel as well. 15 more gone. Oh well. I need to focus on my Chemistry exam in half an hour.
My chemistry teacher hands out a considerably thick packet to each person in the class. I’d estimate there are about 30-something students in the class. And oh she teaches three sections. So she printed approximately 100 copies of these packets?! Holy crap. But wait, THEY’RE NOT EVEN DOUBLE SIDED. She must really not like the environment.
Later as I’m doing my math homework, I notice that the first three problems took up a whole page. Each. But I have to show all of my work to get full credit. Sorry trees.
I actually didn’t realize how much paper I use daily. I never considered if it could be reduced or eliminated, but over the course of that day I noted every time I would use paper, and let me tell you, it adds up!
My last post discussed the proposition for my sustainable behavior challenge to go completely paperless. Now after a week of observing my paper-prone habits I realize that the proposition is nearly impossible. It is impossible to dodge the single-sided Chemistry exam packet or my extensively lengthy Calculus homework problems. I would have to drop out of school if I really wanted to live a paperless lifestyle. So I have set a goal for the sustainable behavior challenge to only consume half the amount of paper that I normally would without limitations.
The article attached discusses a prospective model of reducing human dependence on paper through technological innovations. It is amazing to me how the digital notepad has evolved to mimic a paper notepad and even surpassed it in consumer convenience by being lightweight, clear resolution, using an electronic pen, and even allowing the user to search key words to navigate through notes more efficiently than searching through a jumble of unorganized papers. However this technology may be a little premature for our time. Most people still prefer to read off paper than a screen and the device loses some convenience factor with respect to leisurely and recreational purposes. And I doubt that paper manufacturers are closing their business any time soon.
With all of that being said, the most plausible conclusion is for paper and its digital counterparts to coexist with one another. I plan to go through with the sustainable behavior challenge in exactly that manner.
the ePaper revolution. Geographical (Campion Interactive Publishing) [serial online]. August 2005;77(8):36-37. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 1, 2014.