Reducing Paper

Ever since we have implemented portable devices and carts in our middle school, the paper and toner budget has exploded. For a school grades 6-8 with 1100 students, we use over 380 cases of paper and over $12,000 in toner. It would have been higher, but our principal stopped purchasing toner at the end of the year. Look at your toner/paper usage over the past several years and see if it is up or down.

How do you model going paperless? We try by using Google Apps for Education to share documents, minutes of meetings and lesson plans. I use a digital calendar as well as digital photos and do not print them unless I order a book. If I need directions, I no longer print them, but I can “send” them to my car and pick them up with my in car navigation system. We use Google Forms to collect data, order teacher day lunches or faculty spirit wear. Some teachers are no longer creating posters, but using things like Glogster and now the new Board builder in DE.

Our school no longer prints report cards, monthly newsletters or special events. They are all sent electronically and posted on our web page. All lunch money information is electronic, as is our library card catalog, some curriculum supplements and minutes from curriculum or department meetings in our school. Our secretaries reuse discarded paper as passes, requests for materials and more.

Some of the English teachers use Google to share writing documents and they have a threaded conversation in the comments area with the student. There is also a way for a teacher to leave a voice comment on a Google Doc. Create a writing prompt here in DiscoveryEd. instead of paper! I like that anything I can do with DEN is paperless including the schedules and lists of things we ue



Let’s model conservation for our students and colleagues. Read this blog post about a paperless classroom : Even though the is not active, you can scan through the older posts for some good ideas.

In addition to all of this, my pet peeve is recycling all of the used paper. I have seen maintenance people dump the recycle bins into the trash bin after school. But I’ll leave that for another day

What is your school doing and what do you do to reduce the amount of paper in your classroom?


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