Editorial: The Campus asks you to think before you print

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It’s just here for today. It’s here to remind you why you’re reading your favorite campus newspaper on the internet.

No, we’re not going to plant enough issues of the Campus on Brooks lawn to grow a tree, though that would be a nice way to recycle, wouldn’t it? We’re not going to save the earth today, and we probably won’t even make a noticeable dent in the pollution encroaching on Meadville.

But by going online-only this week, we are trying to do our part to raise awareness and start a trend towards a wiser and more responsible use of resources.  Every week, The Campus prints 1,000 copies of each issue.  According to this Slate article, to print one school year’s worth of Campus newspapers requires a little over four trees worth of paper on our part. That’s not a lot, and we certainly know we won’t be seriously impacting that number by cutting down on a single print issue. In fact, sending you all online may increase the amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced by that added time reading us on your computer (but then again, who are we kidding–you were about to check Facebook anyway).

What we’re really trying to do is get you to stop, step back from your daily routine and think before you act. We’re not printing this week to remind you that maybe you don’t need to print, either. Maybe you can read that article for your comp online today. Maybe you can e-mail your professor your essay.

And maybe there are other small, seemingly-inconsequential steps you can take to improve the space around you. You could think before you run the clothes washer just to clean enough underwear to get you through the week. You could think before you blow-dry your hair today (that cute girl in your o-chem class probably won’t notice, anyway), and you could think before you leave your laptop plugged in and idling away at home while you’re running from class to class.

It’s really the little things that count. Allegheny’s campus uses over 69,000 pounds of paper each year; The Campus uses about 10 pounds of paper per issue. Cutting one issue won’t make that big of a difference, and spending one day printing less may not either. But perhaps today can be the catalyst for change tomorrow. Perhaps you’ll stop to think the next time you print, and the next time, until we can collectively reduce that monstrous amount of paper. And perhaps, if you really like our new website, we can cut down on our impact from print, too.

Just try it. Today, let’s all think before we print.