Tree-mendous Problem at LCN

A+Michigan+Teacher+shows+off+one+and+a+half+weeks+worth+of+work+in+paper+for+one+class.

Brenna Filbey

A Michigan Teacher shows off one and a half weeks worth of work in paper for one class.

Nina Goodwin, Guest Writer

One graduating class at a L’Anse Creuse Public Schools consumes 162.5 to 195 trees in their entire K-12 career. To keep from being just another tree-wasting school, L’Anse Creuse High School North should cut down the amount of paper used, and turn to a more digital approach.

Schools use about 250,000 sheets of paper every year. According to Sierra, the national magazine of the Sierra Club, “…It would take about 8 of these trees to produce between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds of paper, Since a typical 500-sheet packet of the paper weighs 5 pounds, that’s 10,000 to 20,000 sheets per tree…” This means that if a school uses approximately 250,000 sheets of paper per year, they are cutting down about 12.5 to 15 trees annually.

This number may not seem too significant, but every school in the L’Anse Creuse district, causes about 275 to 330 trees to be cut down each year.

At LCN, we use paper for almost everything and waste a lot during the process. An alternative choice for using large amounts of paper annually is to transition into a more digital school. In the long run, going digital would be beneficial to the school and its students. The main benefit is there would be a very noticeable decrease in paper-usage, providing a cost savings to the school. Other benefits include more engaged learning and an easier distribution of classroom materials. If a student is absent, for instance, they can easily get their work on Google Classroom or Schoology.

Students at LCN also agree that we need to do something about our school’s paper usage. Abigahl Bacon, ‘22 said, “I think we use way too much paper, especially with the amount of technology that we have. We shouldn’t be destroying things that are irreplaceable.”

Hannah Gurecki, ‘20 stated, “I think we use too much paper, it’s problematic.”

To give a more in-depth perspective, students from Clayton A. Bouton High School in Voorheesville, New York discussed how being in a digital environment has helped them.

Emma Parker, ‘20 said, “If I miss a day, I don’t need to worry as much because I know all the notes are online, and it makes things like homework and surveys easier because I can do them whenever I have time.”

Erin Young, ‘20 added, “It helps us with learning things and programs that we will need to know how to use in the future. Our school uses computers a lot and keeps us with the ages which are very helpful.”

People may say that this plan of going digital is not very cost-effective, but honestly it would cost around the same amount of money to update all the school’s resources as it would be to go digital. For example, to buy new and more helpful textbooks in each class, it would cost nearly $3,000 per classroom, in a case where the average cost of textbooks are $100, and 30 students in the class. If 20 classes needed to upgrade their textbooks that would cost $60,000. The cost of a normal Chromebook is approximately $150. In the same situation, it would cost a total of $90,000 to buy Chromebooks for the entire class.

This may seem like a lot more money, but in theory, there would be no need to renew textbooks, buy paper, or other typical school supplies.

Why should we, as a school, continue to contribute to this problem? Saving our environment should be prioritized, especially when it will benefit our students.