Remember the paperless office from the nineties? It never happened. We thought that by using computers and the net we wouldn't need shelves full of ring files and heaps of paper on the desk. Yet here we are today and most offices I know, including my own, are still full of paper. Why do we keep printing so many unnecessary copies?
There's a blog called Teach Paperless that gives practical tips on how to reduce the vast amount of paper used in education. According to calculations, the money saved by not printing and copying would finance the purchase of the laptops and resources required to make the paper copies useless. Evidently schools in Los Angeles get through 75,600 tons of paper a year. There's an article from The Guardian last year with a good example of a school in Scotland that went paperless.
Many people find it hard to read longer articles on a screen but new e-book readers are coming out that seem to solve some of these issues. Old habits die hard but I'm sure we could all make a difference if we stopped for a moment and thought before we hit the print button.