20 Miles of Paper in One Week?

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April 23, 2019

During the first week of classes, students printed 115,119 pages through CedarPrint and computer lab printers with 70% of that amount was printed on the first two days of classes. 115,119 pages equate to approximately 23 cases of paper. Here, Anna Kurschner, a Student Technical Writer in the Information Technology department, stands in front of and on top of the empty cases of paper used during the first week of classes.

If we stacked all of the cases of paper used during the first week, we’d have a stack roughly 19 feet high. If we stacked the reams of paper used the first week end-to-end, we’d have a tower that is 211 feet high – the height of a 20 story building! If each page printed the first week were placed end-to-end, we’d have a line of paper stretching 105,526 feet or roughly 20 miles. That’s about the distance from Cedarville to downtown Dayton “as the crow flies” or driving from Cedarville to downtown Springfield on Route 72. If we turned that continuous line of 8 1/2″ x 11″ pages vertically, it would reach to an elevation that is 3 times the cruising altitude of commercial jets. Although IT generally purchases paper with recycled content, if no recycled paper was used, that amount of printing would equate to 14 trees. One tree produces 16.67 reams of paper.

A common misperception is that printing is assessed through a specific fee at Cedarville like other universities. In fact, the base printing allotment is covered through your general tuition fees. If a friend prints 20 pages of blank pages, stating that he “paid for it,” he’s spending your tuition too!

So, the next time you think about printing or reprinting a large document, a full set of class notes for the entire semester, or a large set of PowerPoint slides, stop and consider if there are any options you can use to reduce the amount of paper the university is consuming.

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