Saving paper in the classroom is important. It’s too easy to literally waste reams of it. In this day of reduced school budgets, we need to find ways to trim paper usage. Saving paper in the classroom also helps reduce pollution and saves natural resources. When you do use paper, make sure you really need it. Here are some ways of saving paper in the classroom by using it carefully, recycling it, and going paperless:
Use it Well
1. When you copy things at the photocopier, have presence of mind to set it carefully. It is too easy to put the copier on the wrong settings, and end up with mistakes that waste paper.
2. Get in the habit of double siding your copies, unless you need to cut something out from the sheets.
3. If you single-side your copies, make sure to plan a use for the blank side of the sheet.
4. Cut your paper in half vertically to use as spelling test blanks.
1. If you make a mistake at the copier, and have papers single-sided papers that are printed incorrectly, save them. Cut them in fourths. Use the blank side of these fourths as scratch paper, for answer sheets, lesson summary responses, and so on. (If I don’t cut them in fourths, I get them confused with the “real” papers.)
2. Make sure to have students recycle used paper in your classroom paper recycling bin.
1. Use paperless computer tests and quizzes when possible.
2. Post parent notes on your classroom website instead of sending home paper copies. Email parents.
3. Have kids use computer word processing to do writing assignments. Save drafts to the network drive or a cloud computing site on the internet instead of printing them out.
4. Assign essay questions on a classroom blog, so kids answer electronically.
5. Get a class set of whiteboard slates with markers.
I’m certain that classroom teachers have many more smart ideas for saving paper in the classroom. Please leave your additional ideas for saving paper in the comments section below.