Are you seeking strategies to minimize paper consumption in student life? You’ve come to the right place. Despite the abundance of modern technologies, a lot of universities prefer traditional tactics that implement tons of printing — publishing academic research papers, professional documents, and more.

Although paper as trash may be recycled, it is far from efficient resource consumption. In this guide, let’s try to address this issue and showcase paperless performance in educational establishments.

How to Start Using Less Paper

One of the common misconceptions is that changing habits of many people requires a lot of effort. However, your positive attitude can alter things for the better little by little.

Creative Paper Reuse

Printing on both sides is the first thing that comes to mind when it relates to reducing paper waste. On the other hand, you are welcome to boost the functionality of white-and-black sheets and transform them into holiday projects for students.

You can organize crafting sessions and stations. Add valuable prizes to encourage participants and make the initiative more attention-grabbing.

Share Materials

If you have books that you don’t need anymore, no need to throw them away. You can resell, exchange, and even give them away. You can find communities online that will help you with this task.

Replace Printed Resources with Online Alternatives

Working with real books, journals, etc., has its charm, but digital formats like PDF aren’t any less effective for potential goals. Instead of printing directories, brochures, and flyers, for example, you can share their files online. It will also save your shelf space.

You can also find websites that can provide you with extra help with your writing tasks. Just type in ‘write my essay,’ and you will get professionals who know how to write papers quickly and according to your task.

To ensure you aren’t left along with piled-up documents, ensure you stick to the schedule. Besides, it is an excellent chance to access these resources on the go, whenever you are, which is challenging for printed materials.

Separate Waste Streams

It is a nice strategy to keep paper waste separate from other track sources. You can leave it for recycling or further use on the campus. If you discharge it along with other types of garbage, you won’t look for a sheet of paper to print on the other side in the bin. Add clearly labeled bins on sites. Training and education on how to properly recycle paper will also make a difference.

Reduce Food Packaging Waste

Paper waste sources aren’t solely restricted to printed-out materials. To address the issue, you can raise awareness about packaging waste. On the contrary, providing reusable utensils can work too. Encourage students or personnel to bring their lunch boxes from home. Monitor the process to the real impact of this policy on the amounts of paper waste.

Limit Printing Copies

It isn’t enough to track paper consumption on sites. Teachers and students at colleges have to clearly understand how much printing is allowed. Restrict excessive document prints and encourage end users to benefit from digital analogs of documents.

Reuse Padded Envelopes

In this case, you are welcome to put a new address on a label. Single-use plastics are less convenient and cut off on cost savings from a long-term perspective. Scrap paper, stickers, etc., for new labels will simplify this practice’s adoption on sites.

Collaboration Tools

Change your performance paradigm and shift it to virtual classrooms and to see what eco-friendly paper consumption will mean in practice. Moreover, you will see how innovative technology in classrooms positively impacts students. Numerous applications are available for free, so the entry-level is beginner-oriented. Calendar, Drive, and Google Jamboards are good options to get started.

Another sample is to replace small pieces of paper used to leave notes for digital alternatives. Special phone apps don’t offer a challenging learning curve. So it won’t take long for students to transition to taking notes digitally. Such apps are free of charge as well. If you require premium versions, paid subscriptions will diversify the use of notes and exceed the efficiency of paper notes that are easy to damage and lose.

Selective Printing

There might be cases when online document versions won’t work for the target task or project. In this case, if other methods aren’t applicable, feel free to photocopy or print only the pages you definitely require. For instance, you can skip printing out the title page in the course paper to get ready for an oral project presentation.

Continuous Education on How to Print and Use Paper in a More Eco-Friendly Manner

As the title implies, it is crucial to ensure your peers, other students, professors and colleagues are fully aware of the consequences of their actions and choices when it comes to using paper:

  • E-waste — properly dispose of poorly functioning and old printers since the wrong tactic will negatively contribute to the environmental pollution issue.
  • Printer cartridges — work on a cartridge recycling problem. Another part of the strategy is to select suppliers with sustainable production approaches.
  • Laser printers — bulk printing is a good idea to make the already cost-effective process more advantageous for the college.
  • Inkjet printers — expensive ink and cheap printers often come with lots of non-recycled elements. Before making this type of purchase, calculate the long-term expenses for the service — recycled materials won’t necessarily be overly expensive in the long run.
  • Environmental impact of paper manufacturing — people can easily get used to printing and wasting paper because of its availability. However, getting to know more about the process and what environmental regulations take place may change your perspective.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, your strategy for reducing paper waste and optimizing its use should be complex — you can treat it as another collaboration effort when every person’s impact is essential. The basic rule of thumb is to reuse and recycle, especially when saying “yes” to paperless methods of work is out of your radar for any reason. It will be possible to achieve great results by promoting digital collaboration and virtual learning capacities too.