As students we have an obligation to make sure we have the necessary supplies to maximize our learning. Although electronic notes exist, they are not always the most efficient when it comes to learning. Studies show that writing down material improves memorization. This leads to students and teachers buying and using notebooks.
However, this has a huge environmental impact. Since many students have to buy notebooks, it becomes very taxing for the trees.
According to The World Counts, “Producing 1 kilo of paper requires 2-3 times its weight in trees. If everyone used 200 kilos of paper per year there would be no trees left.”
This not only affects trees, but also ecosystems. Deforestation affects trees and the animals that live in them, releasing harmful gases into the environment and decreasing oxygen supply.
“In 2021, over 246 million notebook units were shipped worldwide, supported by the growing number of people forced to stay at home for work and education during the coronavirus pandemic.” an article titled Notebook unit shipments worldwide from 2005 to 2023 states.
Students use between 4 and 8 notebooks every school year, which account for the death of about 15 billion trees per year. This contributes to environmental concerns such as global warming, climate change, pollution, and more.
There are, however, people who are trying to reduce the impact of notebooks on our environment. Many students in Indian River High School in Philadelphia, New York have planted trees to replenish trees cut down for paper.
“We need to plant a lot of trees in this state and across the northeast for carbon sequestration reasons. Without the help and energy of those young people it’s going to be very difficult to do,” said Patrick Crast, executive director, Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation.
Students in Groveland, Massachusetts took a similar initiative and planted trees on Arbor Day.
“We have about 500 kids here,” Bagnall Elementary School principal Brenda Erhardt said. “All of them have their hands in planting these trees.”
On social media, American Youtubers like Mr. Beast and Mark Rober started an initiative called Team Trees that plants a tree for every U.S dollar donated. This initiative was mostly supported by other Youtubers. Viewers could donate, but not every viewer has the means.
“Over 20 million trees are in the ground!” Mr. Beast exclaims in one of his videos.
Although this initiative is not directly related to students planting trees, it is still helpful in reducing the dangers the environment faces every year.