Bring On the Paperless Office

Classes start tomorrow, so I spent some time last week filing papers and cleaning off my desk. I've been here just long enough to fill up the file drawers in my desk, so I went through and pulled out a few old papers:


That stack is a collection of graded exams and lab reports from the 2001-2 academic year. I spent about half an hour feeding them into the shredder this afternoon (even though the students involved have all graduated, we can't just throw graded work into the recycling bin).

There was a weird sort of nostalgia involved in this. Shredding these papers reminded me of a bunch of students from my first year-- a few I really liked, a few I had basically forgotten, a few I would've liked to feed into a paper shredder in 2002.

Mostly, though, it reminded me how wasteful this business can be. That's an awful lot of paper, and it's only a fraction of what was generated during that year-- the stuff that didn't have names and grades on it got tossed years ago.

I eagerly await the day when I can beam assignments directly into our students' brains. Maybe one of our oversupply of neuroscience bloggers can get to work on that...


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The only way one can have a paperless office is by switching to stone tablets.

By Roman Werpachowski (not verified) on 03 Jan 2007 #permalink

George Dimopoulos provides an updated aspect of paperless work- and lifestyles in his new book "Paperless Joy". The impact of the paperless trend on the environment, human relations, business and global development is addressed along with a comprehensive practical guide on how to go paperless. see:

or google Paperless Joy

Last I heard, we had finally made a crucial bit of progress toward paperlessness. It used to be paper consumption rose in lockstep with economic growth, but consumption has now flat.