6/20/2016

zero waste school life #2 saving writing paper


 Hello, everyone!
The biggest source of trash when going to school or university is undoubtly paper. We get worksheets and information papers, read in paper books and novel and use paper to work on tasks or take notes.
Today, I want to talk about the paper use, you have the most influence on: the paper you use for notes, solving problems, summarizing information, working on tasks, etc.

 At the beginning of the schoolyear, I used to use my paper like this:

At every new date, I would start a new sheet of paper, labelling it carefully with the worksheet number and date. To make it look clear, I often made paragraphs between the different numbers.

After a while, this did not only seem a bit too much to my friends but also to me, as I was often using only the first few lines of a paper and then take a new one. This was also increasing the weight of my folders and rising up costs for new paper stacks.
So, I switched to a new model of paper use:


As you can see, this is using a lot less paper than the previous type. I just continued writing on the same paper, even when it was another day. To keep clarity, I still kept paragraphs between numbers and parts.
Abolishing these paragraphs, it looks like this:
This was temporarily the end of reducing my paper waste. I had the feeling that this was the farest, I could go reducing the paper, I used.
At the end of each schoolyear, I always took all of my folders, put out the paper and sorted it on stacks whether the backside is still blank and therefore usable or it has to be thrown away. I just learned it from my parents this way and did so ages before I even knew about zero waste.
Thinking about this, I wondered what to do with the great amount of still usable paper. It was mostly worksheets and paper, we got from school and it always annoyed me when paper in school was not copied double- sided.
This triggered a new idea of using paper:

As you can see, I used the backside of the worksheet to work on the imaginary tasks and took notes directly on the worksheet itself. This is certainly a model, I had to get used to. On the first glance, it seemed unconvenient, messy and stupid to me. But it, indeed, has a lot of benefits:
First of all, it obvioulsy safes paper. In classes, where I used to use 1 to 2 papers per lesson, I now barely even have to use one paper. I really use the space on the worksheet or its backside and do not feel like I am wasting paper anymore. This is not only good for the enovirement but also reduces the weight, I have to carry around in my schoolbag and the amount of money, it takes to buy new paper stacks. Previously, I used up a spiral block of lined paper in about 2 or 3 month. Now, a stack of paper will presumably last twice as long. I also have the feeling that when writing vertically on a worksheet backside (using the long side) I can write more than I could write on the same paper vertically (taking the short side).
I also think, that this kind of note taking is not messy, but even structures my work on papers better. My notes and solvings are directly connected with the worksheet. When talkign about the worksheet in class, I only need this very paper to participate.
Of course, not all worksheets have blank backsides and so I do still use 'normal' paper to take notes. This step, however, has really reduced the amount of paper I use.

I hope this post inspired or motivated you to try out this step as well. See you soon,

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