Cut down on waste, not trees!

Submitted by Elah Feder – Project Coordinator, Sustainability Office, UofT

A few years ago, a student researcher calculated U of T uses about 10 million sheets of paper each year. That’s just in first and second year courses on St. George campus, and it doesn’t include all the textbooks we use each year, so the real total is much higher.

Paper has its place, and we’re not suggesting everyone needs to go electronic, but we do think there are some great opportunities to cut down on waste. The U of T Green Courses program recognizes those instructors who have made an effort to do so.

So far, over 100 courses have been recognized for choosing basic practices like double-siding, posting lecture slides in compact forms, and choosing environmentally-friendly paper for their course readers.

The Sustainability Office is now accepting applications for spring semester courses. Learn more about the program and download the self-assessment form at

Breakdown of paper use in first and second year courses,
excluding textbooks, based on research by Yi-an Chen.

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