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Paper or Plastic?

17 November, 2007

I preface this entry with the fact that I am a college student. That is going to be where many ideas for this blog are going to come from, I’m sure.

Anyways, I was sitting in lecture the other day, and an interesting thought occurred to me. In terms of the environment, is it better to take notes in a notebook, or on a computer? It clearly takes up a lot more energy to power a computer than it does to write with a pen. But then again, every sheet of paper used is another tree cut down (well, that’s clearly an exaggeration, but you know what I mean). And the notebooks could be made out of recycled paper. Then again, the computer could be running from a renewable energy source (college campuses are trying to mek themselves greener every year, and that includes getting more electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar).

I personally split the difference by using a notebook about half the time, and using my computer the other half. This is not on an ecological basis but rather just that sometimes it’s easier to use one, and sometimes another.

So this doesn’t really have an answer, that I can think of. What about you? Which do you use most often? And which would you think is better in the long run for the environment? Comment with your answers!

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One comment

  1. This is a really interesting question that college environmental groups might want to look into. But environmental concerns aside, I think using a laptop in class is sort of trashy, and I enjoy handwriting my notes on lectures.
    What would you say the breakdown of laptop: notebook users is in your classes at Harvard? In my experience, I would characterize the Haverford/Bryn Mawr/Swarthmore population as using 1 laptop: 20 notebooks. It’s also funny that “notebook” has become synonymous with “laptop”– a nice marketing effort by manufacturers!



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