For the $15 allotted per student per semester for printing charges about one two-hundredths of a tree is used – a fact that students can now track through a program initiated this fall.
PaperCut Printing Charges was developed before the fall semester to help students keep track of all of their printing transactions on campus to help lower their overall use of paper materials.
Within the program are a series of graphs and charts that not only show every item that has been printed on campus along with its total cost, but how it has impacted the environment as well.
“If (students) knew every time they printed an item, printed something wrong or printed a document which they only needed a few pages of, I think if they kept a tally it would really shock most,” said Carrie Menold, assistant professor of geological sciences. “When I was a student here we had a printing budget, but it still seemed like students were a little disconnected to what they were printing.”
Being newly released however, the program is still in the process of becoming widely known across campus.
“It would be a good tool for students and professors to use if they were more aware of it,” said Sarah Polnasek, Albion junior. “It might influence professors to allow more online submissions, and students to be more conscious of what they print.”
For any student interested in accessing the sight, log onto https://ps08e01.albion.edu:9192/user/, and type in a campus-issued login name and password (the same login name and password given to access the internet).
The link will direct students to a page showing their print records, along with how much carbon, trees and the energy equivalent to power a 60-watt light bulb have been used to support their printing needs.
“I’m impressed with how students are more aware of their affect on the environment, but our use of materials could still be improved,” said Mick McRivette, professor of geological sciences. “Giving students a comparison really drives home the message of resource use, regardless of the resource.”
Students as well agree that a comparison to raw materials helps to convey the effects of paper use.
“Students don’t really think about how what their printing affects the environment and (PaperCuts Printing Charges) lets you be more aware of what you’re doing to the earth and more conscious of your impact,” Polnasek said.