Column: How Eastern’s paper-saving saves paper

Dominic Renzetti, Assistant Sports Editor

I noticed something particular as I made my way to all of my classes last week — the first day of class is traditionally highlighted as probably the easiest day of the semester. 

Walk in, meet the professor, find your seat, introduce yourself and page through the syllabus.

In semesters past, at the end of the first week, I’d find that I’d have dozens of sheets of paper in my backpack, some of which make it out and into a folder, others just get lost in the first week. 

This semester was different, though. 

In almost all of my classes, I didn’t get the traditional three or four sheets of paper spelling out the class objectives, policies, tentative schedule and whatever else. 

This semester, in almost all of my classes, the professors just went over one syllabus downloaded from the Web, presenting  it to the class.

I think this is a good move by Eastern. I can’t imagine how much paper was saved or how much money was saved by not printing out hundreds, maybe thousands of sheets of papers, most of which probably end up lost anyway. 

I can’t tell you how many times last semester I ended up just re-downloading the syllabus off Desire 2 Learn anyway after I lost it in the first week. And does the schedule ever not change? In some classes, the whole thing is out the window before Halloween.

Aside from the savings Eastern can get by not printing out all the paper, I think we should also focus on the bigger picture — the drastic effects such a move has on the environment. As a society, we need to be more conscious of how wasteful we are. 

The change to being green doesn’t have to be something out of this world; even the simplest, smallest changes can and will have a big impact.

It seems like a no-brainer and I’m glad the school is doing it. 

Think about how much paper Eastern is saving and then imagine a school even bigger than Eastern doing the same thing. That’s a lot of paper and probably even more paper back into the pockets of universities.

As more and more paper products move into the digital age, some of them still thrive on having that in-hand feel. 

Some people will only want to read a newspaper or pamphlet in its physical form, and I suppose that’s understandable. The syllabus, though? I don’t think too many people will mind about not being able to grasp the syllabus in their hands on the first day of class. 

I know I’m fine with it.