Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Paper Chase

Question: How much paper do schools use?

Answer/Quotes: “During the school year these voracious behemoths [copiers] consume 286,000 sheets of paper every month, which adds up to about 3,000 pounds of paper.” P. 117.

“If you take 286,000 sheets of paper—a month’s supply at my school—and stack them up, you get a tower of paper 95 feet high….” P. 117.

“It takes about 35 mature trees to make a month’s supply of paper for our school, which adds up to 315 trees every year.” P. 118.

“In 2003, there were enough high school students in the United States to fill 20,987 schools…. Ten million trees a year.” P. 118.

“Cut into inch-wide strips, that’s enough paper to stretch 204 miles per student.” P. 118.

Comment: Schools are not paperless institutions. Add in the state-mandated reading and math tests, SAT’s and other standardized tests, and you increase significantly the number of trees needed to supply students with paper. We’ve met the enemy of the environment and the enemy is us. RayS.

Title: “Paper Tiger.” Tom Pamperin. English Journal (January 2011), 117-118.

Note: “In addition to teaching English at Chippewa Falls [Wisconsin] high school, Tom Pamperin is a district director of the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English and a freelance writer. He uses far too much paper.”

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