According to the LA Times, America has been throwing away perfectly good food due to arbitrary laws and expiration dates that have no connection to scientific data. Store owners have had to throw money down the drain all because the government says so.

This led me to reflect on the waste in my own life, from water to clothing. One little thing I constantly have to waste is lined paper. In my classes, especially my physics class, I am forced to use an entire sheet of lined paper for a small activity or assignment. Rather than utilizing the back, I am asked to only fill out one assignment, rather than one on the front and one on the back. Constantly, I have had to write a small paragraph of what I know about the subject going in, and then use a separate page for notes. That’s an entire sheet for a useless paragraph that could’ve just been in my notes. On Friday, we filled out an entire poster with a single drawing where we guessed how light passed through a concave lens.

Some of my teachers in my life have been smart, recommending that we only use a half sheet for small tasks. But all too often, they ask us to carelessly discard paper. Because it’s just one sheet, right? Until it adds up over the 13 years of public school (Kindergarten-12th) and through years of college. Imagine the mountains of paper students could save if their teachers gave a damn? Imagine the money that could’ve been saved, the trees that could’ve been saved. I know you’re a student teacher, Mr. Gilbert, but we don’t need an entire rainforest to learn about psychics. Soon enough, Biology teachers will talk about an extinct organism called a ‘tree.’


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