Paper Wars

      It becomes an endless deluge of white with black print.

      The amount of paper that I see wasted at my regular schools is astounding. Sometimes I imagine that the entire United States could be re-forested with the reams of paper that is gone through daily. Paper balls, paper airplanes, and just single crumpled paper sheets are basic classroom landscape.

       The irony comes when teaching about recycling, and conserving our resources. It’s really more theory than practice. Even the lessons and activities are printed on one side only, and then discarded 95% of the time. Kids have become so ingrained with a false sense of endless paper supply, and that it’s a one-side-only world. Then, there’s that “perfectionist syndrome“–one supposed wrong mark, and the sheet is tossed.

       Whenver I address the fact that paper is not like Kleenex–it will run out if we’re not prudent. I’ll say that  trees are not perpetual producers, and they look at me like I’m the crazy one.

       My ongoing strategy is to share about using both sides, and as another poster recently commented, that “an eraser is your best friend.” [Thanks for that!] Conscious paper usage shows yet another way of teaching our youth to pay attention to the world around us


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