Letter to the Editor

By Library/HRC Sustainability Student Team

To the Editor:

As compelling as it is to analyze corporate timber giants or complain about printing backups, it’s time we think about that other, less talked about, part of the paper story: us. This week is Printing Awareness Week in the library and Humanities Resource Center-and we’re asking Mac students to start thinking about how simple actions have a BIG impact.. According to library and HRC statistics, we collectively use about 105,000 sheets per week, and 3,150,000 sheets per year for our articles, assignments and more.

So this week, we challenge both the Macalester institution and the amazing individuals that make it great to rethink an element of college life that so many of us take for granted: printing. It isn’t just environmental responsibility that should drive us to do this. Macalester spends $26,000 of its endowment each year on paper, and the cost is increasing. That’s $26,000 each year that isn’t going toward buying more books, journals, academic programs, or computers. Each of us uses about 1,700 sheets of paper each a semester.

We call on Mac students, staff, and faculty to ponder before printing: print double-sided, read articles online, take notes in one of the adorable Onesie notebooks available in the library, and take the printing pledge for fun prizes. What are your priorities: a library that invests its money on top-notch academic resources or irresponsibly-used paper? Will you ponder before printing? We hope so.