Thursday, May 22, 2014

Doing a Little Math

I decided to see how much paper I used this year.  I’ve actually never done this before.  These numbers are all ballpark.  I’m sure there are some things I made copies of that I didn’t count and I didn’t count anything I printed as individual sheets like sub plans, etc.  These numbers come from 4 sections of 7th grade science.

By my calculations I passed out or used 113 pages this year.  These included handouts, evaluations, worksheets, activity guides, safety contracts, and lab directions.  This number is probably low but it is where I will start.  

For each I copied 130 copies.  That way I always had enough for all the kids and a few extras.  That adds up to 14,690 pages of paper I used this year.  

That’s almost 30 reams of paper.  Three entire cases of paper, just in my classroom.  I’ve read that one ream of paper is equivalent to 6% of a tree.  This works out to one tree making about 16.5 reams of paper.  By that calculation my class used up almost two entire trees.  

WOW!  I had no idea.  I’m sure the number is probably higher than that and I’m by far not the biggest copier in the school.  I just asked the secretary how much paper we go through in a year.  She orders 40 cases at a time and has done four orders and we are getting really close to finishing that up.  160 cases of paper, 1600 reams, 800,000 sheets, 4 tons in one year, just for printers and copiers in one building, and that doesn’t count the number of copies sent over to our district copy center.  I would guess that number is the same, or higher.  

I think this is reaffirming me wanting to go paperless next year.  Honestly there are two things standing in my way.  First, I don’t know what device my 7th graders will have.  We got a long email about device training, parent insurance policies and meetings, but no one has told us if they are getting chromebooks or ipads.  The second thing holding me back is the idea that it is scary to give up paper.  At this point if the answer to question one is Chromebooks I am going to take the plunge and give up paper next year scary as it might be.

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