Print Your Homework on Both Sides to Save Trees | Teen Ink

Print Your Homework on Both Sides to Save Trees

September 2, 2008
By Samaiya SILVER, Medellin, Other
Samaiya SILVER, Medellin, Other
7 articles 0 photos 9 comments

We students, whether we’re in school or in college, waste enormous quantities of paper on our term papers, theses, and other assignments when we print them on only one side of the page. Sure, supposedly they look nicer and more official that way, but, do you know how many trees we’re throwing away?

It takes about 24 trees to make a ton of paper. (Not counting the 19,075 gallons of water, 38 million de British Thermal Units of energy, and countless greenhouse gases and other nasty pollutants that go into the making. Check out for more information).
I started adding up how much paper I used for homework at my college in a year, and it totaled to nearly 500 pages. That’s a whole ream—6% of a tree! Now, start multiplying that by how many students you have in your class, then in your school or college, then in all the schools and colleges worldwide. And believe me, many people use more paper: says that the avarege U.S. office worker prints 10,000 pages a year. That would mean that each common office worker uses up more than a whole tree a year! And according to the USDA Forest Service, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion, over a 50-year life span. All of this we’re throwing away! In 2004 the United States used 8 million tons of office paper (3.2 billion reams). That’s the equivalent of 178 million trees!
But that can be cut in half if we pitch in together. Talk to your teachers, wage a campaign against unnecessary paper waste at your school. Ask if you can send your homework in by e-mail, and if not, at least ask to make it a requirement to print on both sides of the page. If you want to go farther, talk to your parents and have them do the same at their offices. Until the time comes when everything will be digital, let’s save as many trees (and as much money, too) as we can. It’s up to us. Whatever we do now, we’ll have to live with later.

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This article has 4 comments.

on Nov. 30 2010 at 1:57 pm
HeartbrokenAngel BRONZE, Cottonwood, California
2 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do you know how much I wish I could go back in time and change so many things? The first one is you."

It usually takes a couple weeks. They'll make sure to email you when it's approved.

on Oct. 21 2010 at 11:46 am
writerscramp01 GOLD, Green Bay, Wisconsin
11 articles 6 photos 51 comments

However, ask your teacher first. They may have rules about that sort of thing or even ask the rest of their students to print on both sides because they think its a good idea! Great job!

Keep writting till your hands get sore, then pick up your pen and write some more!


Safeleo said...
on May. 17 2010 at 6:48 am
Safeleo, Iwakuni, Other
0 articles 0 photos 118 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Looking up into the night sky is like looking into infinity - the distance is incomprehensible and therefore meaningless."
-Douglas Adams

First, I totally agree with you. We should work to save trees.

 Second, I'm new here, how long does it take for your artical to get edited?

hannah123 said...
on Jan. 11 2010 at 8:04 pm
wow, ive never really thought about how much paper we as humans use a year, and i think that its really quite sad. i will try to keep this article in mind and use as little paper as i can. thx!!