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Thirsty paper
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Our thirsty paper findings
Our thirsty paper findings

Two teams were involved in this challenge – a grade 12 and 10 class. Both teams followed the challenge brief – the teams were divided into the mapping, products, ideas and campaign teams. Each team made a mind map of their proposals.

We were shocked to find out that 1 202 500 A4 pages of paper was used by the school in 2016 (the only figures we could get). This equals nearly 15 trees and 12 025 000 litres of secret water.

As we already recycle paper (there are paper recycling bins in every classroom), we proposed having campaigns to get the school to recycle more paper. We also proposed getting the daily notices and the register emailed instead of printed. These are sent to every class daily. Also teachers and pupils need to be made aware of how to print double sided and we proposed that tablets should be used instead of test books. Paper that has been printed on one side should also be reused on the other side before finally being sent for recycling. The school already sends notices home on the school communicator instead of sending hard copies which saves a lot of paper.

The grade 12 class also investigated how many times a comprehension task could be used for a variety of lessons rather than just once to save paper. We developed 9 lessons from one resource using the comprehension for, spelling, comprehension, unprepared reading, prepared reading, language, punctuation, grammar and summary. Once all the English tasks were completed the page would be used for art or technology. A well-chosen comprehension passage is the difference between using one page as opposed to using nine pages of paper.

This was an enjoyable challenge which opened our eyes to how much water and trees are wasted making paper. In conclusion, we felt that our classes were enthusiastic about the task and came up with great ideas to help save paper in our beautiful school.




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