Keep That Same Energy!

Continuing the mindful, paperless practices of virtual learning upon returning to school.

Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock

Senaiah White, Contributor

Since we’ve all been teaching and learning from home, not too much thought has been given to the sustainability of our school building in the past couple months. But with the tentative return to school on January 29th fast approaching, it may be high time to evaluate exactly what we can do to make sure we’re progressing towards our ecofriendly goals. One thing that this situation has taught us is that it’s entirely possible for our school to go completely paperless, and maybe that’s a lesson we should carry on with us as we enter Carver Center once again.

Did you know that the average school uses around 2,000 pieces of paper a day—360,000 a year? But so far this year at Carver, we’ve used next to none. What does that mean in terms of the environment, though? As it turns out, it means a lot—every ton of paper recycled can save enough energy to power the American home for six months. It can also save 7000 gallons of water, save 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton of carbon equivalent.

However, in a school setting, it’s inevitable that some paper will get used, even if we keep the same “online” curriculum, just in person. So how can Carver, specifically, cut down on its paper usage? For starters, we can make more use of the carver website and Instagram pages to announce things, switch to paperless fax delivery, and reuse one sided papers for printing. For those who prefer to write, we can encourage the use of either rocket books, personal notebooks, or dry erase boards (which you can digitalize and then erase with the help of apps like Adobe Scanner and Notes for iPhone.)

Since our efforts to recycle are often thwarted by just one piece of regular trash (forcing our ‘recycling’ to be thrown in the dumpster) it may be better for us to do our best to eliminate the need to recycle paper completely. These measures can not only cut costs for the school, freeing up more money to use for other green initiatives, but can also help Carver Center to have a smaller carbon footprint