are one of the biggest users of paper around. Think about
all of the paper students use to do work on. And all of the
office copies and computer printouts and copies of materials
for class that teachers and administrators make. When you
add it up, it amounts to a lot of trees! So how can your class
encourage your school to use less paper and buy recycled paper?
Let's start with a little education.
Most people would buy recycled paper (even
though it costs a little more) if they just understood more
about why it's important to do so, and if they knew how
much it cost, where to get it, and other details.
Do a little research. How much paper does your
school use on an average school day? Over the course
of a year? You will need to speak with the people at your
school who actually purchase the paper. They can tell you
how much they buy, what it costs, who they buy it from,
what kind of paper they buy, and whether or not the school
purchases recycled paper. Now you have something to work
- Do a little more research. Now you'll need to calculate
how many trees need to be cut down to supply your school
with virgin paper (paper made directly from fresh trees).
How many trees could your school save every year if it purchased
recycled paper? Be careful, there are all kinds of recycled
paper. You'll need to learn about the different types of
recycled paper (30%, 60%, 100% post-consumer waste for example)
and how many trees are needed to produce them (and how many
trees are saved by using recycled paper).
- Do even more research. You'll need to find out
what the different types of paper are, where you can
buy them, how much they cost, and what the price differences
are between recycled paper options and the paper your school
currently uses. How much will buying recycled paper cost
your school in dollars over the course of one year? What
are the "hidden costs" of buying virgin paper
(deforestation, loss of natural resources and habitat for
animals, connection to global warming, etc.)
- Problem solving. Your school administrators might
argue that buying recycled paper will cost them too much
over the course of a year. How will you respond to this?
What strategies could your school use to make up for
the higher costs?
- Making your case. Do you have a strong enough case
to convince your principal and school administrators to
purchase recycled paper? You will need to present your data
in an easy-to-understand format that makes your case and
provides school administrators with the information they
need to make the decision you want. Perhaps a PowerPoint
presentation or a written report or letter or a web
site could be created to make your case. Maybe you'd like
to also create a skit or a song or a dance that expresses
your concern for the issue of deforestation. Perhaps you
could start a publicity campaign at your school and
ask for permission to have the whole school vote on whether
to purchase recycled paper. This is where your creativity
will need to emerge.
Need help? Contact On-Line Expeditions at 312
733-7330 ext. 321 and we'll answer your questions and support
your efforts. Here are some web sites to help get you started
with your research. Good luck!