Is it okay to polute in order to promote a greener campus?

Fliers handed out to promote an event or encourage the student body to join an organization can be overwhelming at times.

Countless advertisements plastered on bulletins or distributed daily by students are often discarded or found alongside trashcans. In many cases, events being promoted on flyers are being advertised via Facebook status updates or tweets on Twitter.

As Florida A&M makes strides to “Go Green”, those wasteful promotions seem to contradict FAMU’s mission to a greener campus.

According to the American Forest and Paper Association, Americans discard four million tons of office paper every year. That is enough to build a 12-foot high wall of paper from New York to California.

Based on findings by the International Institute for Environment and Development, when paper decomposes it emits methane gas, which is 25 times more toxic than carbon dioxide. The presence of these greenhouse gases, Earth is currently experiencing the beginning of Global warming.

In addition to addressing the problem, FAMU must establish solutions to reduce the amount of paper discarded by the students who receive them.

According to the Office of Student Activities, if an individual or organization is interested in promoting an event, they are required to fill out forms of consent. Subsequently, they must receive further approval from an administrator until they are permitted to post flyers around campus.

Why not avoid the hassle of obtaining permission to promote an event, just for students to turn around and toss it in the trash tomorrow?

One solution is encouraging organizations and promoters to utilize technology as a means to inform, and extend information to the student body.

Today we see that paper is becoming relatively outdated in almost every aspect of our lives.

The Internet is gradually replacing newspaper production. Professors are no longer relying on hardcopies, instead are sharing documents electronically. Advances in technology have proven to reduce the amount of paper consumption and cost. However, like beating any addiction, we have a long way ahead of us. With new technology you can reach a larger audience, spread messages more efficiently, and save tons of paper in the process.

There is potential to reduce costs and further damage to the environment, but if we continue to throw away materials that could otherwise be recycled the depletion of energy, water, and other natural resources increases.

Consequently, the air we breathe will eventually cost us, literally.