Sustainability in Universities

Sustainability in UniversitiesSustainability should be important to individuals all over the world. Cutting trees has a negative impact on the environment. Global warming is increasing due to the non-absorbed oxygen such as carbon dioxide. In the past, the world did not pay attention to the importance of protecting trees. When the environment started to be affected by the loss of trees, people started to become aware of the difficult situation. Universities and large organizations began to use recycling systems in order to lower the use of paper to help in achieving sustainable development. In one of the United Nations conferences, sustainability has been described as “meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”.

The University of Nicosia, Cyprus (UNIC) started using paper more sustainably. The university currently tries to save paper and started to discusses how should it develops a better system of using paper. The university also started to look at using e-books as a replacement for paper books. The University of Nicosia should develop a better system to use paper. If faculty and students at the university start using less paper, the university will save a large amount of money. The first step UNIC should start with is insisting on double-sided printings. According to Mr. Peter Asher, the computer lab manager at the university, only few teachers at campus use double- sided printings. For example, if all teachers used double- sided printings, there would be a reduction of approximately half the amount of paper needed weekly.

At Tufts University, the students of the experimental class started a campaign over reducing paper use. They want to encourage the professors to use double- sided printings. Tufts University started using a recycling system for all of its paper. It has well recognized numerous boxes on campus. The University of Bradford has also a good recycling system on campus. Having a recycling system will make a healthier environment.

Universities over the world should start making a campaign that will encourage students and teachers to use less amount of paper by using electronic submission of the assignments. Students at Tufts University are working on this campaign in order to make everyone at their university more committed to reducing the use of paper . Therefore, having a campaign will make everyone more aware of the situation the university is facing in using a large amount of paper. The students who understand the meaning of the campaign will start using paper in a more efficient way in order to help their university and the environment they live in. In other words, universities can start implementing several procedures in order to achieve the use of paper more efficiently.

Universities should start developing their educational system by introducing electronic books (e-book) in order to low down the use of paper. Using e-books at the university will help students to save money and to reduce the amount of paper used. Universities should provide their students with new technological devices such as the Apple Ipads or Kindle DX. Princeton University and other  five colleges in the States started to provide their students free Kindles in order to help in using paper more efficiently at their campuses and encourage sustainability. Universities should be interested in encouraging the use of e-books due to its several advantages for college students. Students at Princeton University download all their textbooks on Kindle DX. Princeton’s students are benefitting from the use of Kindle. They are highly enjoying the experience and the new technology. In addition, they started to save more money.

Universities should start using e-books in its library next to the actual books. Numerous libraries at several universities started to use e-books for large book collections in order to encourage sustainability. Maintaining hard copies of some important books will always be a necessity. Using e-books at the library will help in reducing the use of paper and will make the libraries a more convenient place for students. E-books offer unlimited resources to the students.  In other words, E-books are considered one of the best ways in using paper more efficiently at the universities.  Encouraging the use of E-books and reducing the use of paper, will help in achieving sustainability. This will also help in having a healthier and a more developed environment

By Georgina Abboud

Tufts University

University of Bradford






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