Opinion: Saving Natural Resources

Ever since I registered to take an SAT test on the CollegeBoard website last October, I have been receiving piles of college recruitment letters and e-mails. I had not expected that so many would come my way.

This mail has become a nuisance to me as well as to my parents. E-mails are fairly acceptable because they can be deleted with a click of a few buttons, but colleges’ paper mail is truly wasteful.

Paper mail does provide useful information—a brief tour of campus life, student to staff ratios, available financial aid, and other college-related information.

However, printing out a 67-page booklet (one that I received recently) for every student that allows CollegeBoard to disclose their personal information to various colleges around the country is certainly wasteful.

Not only do colleges only send these page-filled booklets once, but they send them repeatedly, over and over, with the hope that these potential students will be enticed to attend the particular college.

Not all colleges send giant booklets, however, but all the paper used to create these booklets produces a large amount of waste and it puts many trees to waste.

This mays seem like a long stretch, but it is actually not very difficult to resolve this huge waste of a natural resource.

Colleges can replace thick booklets with a single piece of paper that gives details such as a website where one can find answers to all his questions about the colleges, similar to what is posted in college recruitment e-mails.

They can even just eliminate paper mail altogether and use only e-mail. This would eliminate the need to send in a paper application that is usually given in a recruitment letter.

These suggestions can also be advised to the commercial businesses that expend a significant amount of paper by sending mail for things such as bank statements, utility bills, and advertisements.

Following this simple, yet difficult to follow advice could save hundreds, thousands, or perhaps even millions of dollars for individual companies and also countless trees that help us by releasing oxygen in the air.


This opinion was written by Darren Lai.  The views of this author do not reflect the views of the Temple City Voice or its staff. It was published on July 17, 2009.


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