Why College Is The Perfect Time To Go Completely Paperless

Going paperless – it doesn’t sound like it should be that hard in today’s world where technology surrounds us and we all have hand-held computers in our pockets. I mean how much paper do we really use anyways? The answer is a lot. As a whole, our small liberal arts University used 7,249,526 pages of paper in 2017. If we divide this number evenly across all of our students, it comes to about 2,400 pages per student. And that number is just printed paper! That’s not even accounting for the preexisting paper products that we bought.  

Just glance in your bookbag. Is there a notebook? That’s a lot paper and you probably never even fill up the whole thing with notes. How about a textbook? Paper. Required paper, but still a lot of paper. Have a binder of random hand-outs? Yep, more paper. Odds are, your bookbag content is mostly paper with a laptop throw in the mix.

Now some of this is out of our control as students. When your professor gives you a handout in class you have to take it. You can’t really tell your professor you aren’t going to buy a textbook required for his class because you want to be a paperless student. Some paper we just don’t have a choice but to deal with. The Green Office Program is working on changing these situations, but for the times when we do have the option we should try to pick the one which uses the least amount of paper.

Why you might ask? Not only is it better for our lovely planet to be a paperless human being, but it’s also easier for you. Think about it for a second; how many times have you lost a page of notes that you needed the night before a test? Or complained about how heavy your bookbag was because of all the paper you are carrying around? Both of these issues could be solved if you simply didn’t use all that paper. You could just search your computer for notes if they were taken electronically. All you would have to carry around is a laptop.

Again, I know this can pose some challenges. Our educational system has always been a very paper intensive industry, and change is difficult to enact. But we are where the change comes from right? Universities are supposed to be where inspired new ideas and cutting-edge movements come from! So why not push the boundaries now? Why not make a change when you are in a safe environment to do so?

Be the change. Go paperless.

Featured Image via Unsplash

Originally published on Furman Green Scene


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