We got the papers

As more people become environmentally conscious, more recycling initiatives are taking place. Throughout the Pierce campus are bins for recycling cans and bottles. However, one of the most common items found in school is also recyclable, yet getting tossed in the trash—paper.

Students may have the desire to make the effort to recycle the paper they accumulate through the semester, but there is not a set program in place to support this.

The digital age has brought about some reform in the use of excessive amounts of paper in school. Teachers have begun to provide notes on Canvas, so students don’t need to write things down on paper. However, there are still pro-active steps that could be taken.

Some students are unsure about the policies surrounding using laptops for taking notes. Teachers can choose to clearly encourage students to type their notes, which would reduce paper usage.

In addition to the recycling bins designated for cans, Pierce can provide paper recycling bins, so students can dispose of papers separate from trash cans. Copy tech is already using blue bins specifically designed to recycle paper, according to a 2014 article in The Roundup News.

Teachers can provide a scratch paper tray in their classrooms, so students can leave papers that have remaining usable space, and also use the scrap paper left by others.

In addition to minimizing the amount of handouts that are distributed in class, teachers could also make sure to use recycled paper for printed materials they pass out.

Students can also help to make a difference in the amount of paper wasted by using their full spiral notebooks. When a class concludes, students may tend to trash the notebook they used for that particular class. Instead, they can make sure to use the entire notebook to prevent paper waste.

Many fliers and banners are used to promote activities and organizations at Pierce. However, there are ways to promote these school related functions without wasting extra paper. Instead of passing out papers to promote an event, students can be encouraged to take a picture of a flier, or given a link to access the information online. Re-usable fliers and banners would also provide an alternative to the countless printed materials for each event.

In an effort to improve recycling, students could also form a committee to come up with additional solutions.

People need to do their part to contribute to environmental efforts. Schools use many recyclable materials, and by making changes and putting forth effort, students can be part of the solution.