By Murray Bourne, 05 Jun 2007
When we all moved to using computers, there was potential for reducing paper use to almost zero.
According to Singapore's Straits Times, a survey of 100 local companies showed that 43 actually used more paper than in 2005, when the last survey was done. I'm surprised it wasn't all of them.
It's a joke. I see the following craziness every day:
- Paper backups of everything "for the auditors"
- Printing out emails
- Printing out meeting agendas, especially when they have only one or 2 items
- Printing out student assignment submissions
- Coordinating schedules via paper-based calendars
What we should require is:
- Bring your laptop to meetings (I always do this. I have all the documentation I need, I can demonstrate websites, or articles, or whatever we are talking about)
- Keep things in multiple soft copy (proper electronic backup is better than hard copy any day)
- Remember that e-mails are "e"
- Use collaboration tools like Google Docs rather than pass around paper copies for amendments
Get with the programme. Paper use must be significantly reduced.
See the 4 Comments below.
11 Jun 2007 at 1:47 am [Comment permalink]
Think of the implications of all those trees ending up in landfill.
Here's a thought - education institutions should be totally paperless, especially if there is high usage of laptops or PCs.
The students seem happy to use computers all day - why not require them to do so, to save the planet?
Then, when they start work, they will already be comfortable in a paperless environment.
12 Jun 2007 at 9:44 am [Comment permalink]
Good point, Steven. Republic Polytechnic in Singapore is "almost paperless".
19 Jun 2007 at 3:33 am [Comment permalink]
And math (especially horrendous ones) should go electronic too!
5 May 2009 at 6:32 pm [Comment permalink]
About making educational institutions paperless, maybe we could use that sweet XO-1, designed for poor countries but just as useful to mass-produce for kids in richer countries.