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Eco friendly schools go paperless
By Sara Zimmerman    September 28, 2010 -- 02:38 PM

Educators have been taught to create worksheets and print everything. Look at all the paper in the trash or recycling bin at your school by the end of the day. The first thing you can do is rethink how you use paper and why. Before you print out your email or type up your lesson plan to print, consider the following facts about paper. [Source]
  • The United States wastes approximately 749 pounds of paper a year... per person. That would be one tree per person... if all trees were 18 inches around and 100 feet tall. 
  • Each ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 682.5 gallons of oil and 3.3 cubic feet of land fill space.
  • One tree provides enough oxygen to support three people.
  • The United States throws away 40 million tons of paper that could have been recycled every year. That is 680 million trees, 28 billion gallons of water, around 27 billion gallons of oil and 132 million cubic feet of landfill space lost. Those trees could have made enough oxygen to support 204 million people.
  • The earth’s populace is roughly 6.7 billion as of April, 2009 and continues to rise.  This means to support our current populace we need at least 2.5 billion trees.
  • We cut down three to six billion trees a year, which at this point and time has led to the deforestation of 80% of the planet.
What you can do to start becoming an ecofriendly school:
  1. Review what paper you are using now and for what.
  2. Calendar: Transfer your daily planner to an online calendar like Google Calendar or iCal. When you get this set up, you can even sync your calendar with your phone.
  3. Lesson Plans: Look at how ofter you type your lessons and print them out. You may even be creating two sets of each lesson (one for you and one for your administrator). Think about setting up a blog or website to host your lessons. We use My eCoach’s Universal Builder where teachers can have one area for students, another area that is hidden to upload units for review with the administrator as eCoach.
  4. Worksheets: Include links to downloadable word or pdf files on your website instead of making your own copies to hand out. Even better -- look for interactive worksheets like
  5. Memos: Use Google’s Doodle to schedule meetings.
  6. Newsletters and Principal Messages: Use a wiki, the Universal Builder, a newsletter program like Letter Pop.
These are just a few ideas. When you start looking at all the folders and piles of paper you collect, you might even think about digitizing some of them as pdf files or putting them online.

Categories: "Recycle" "Eco Friendly" "Green Schools" "Save Paper" "Tips"

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