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Oklahoma State University

Sustainability in the Classroom-Faculty

Going Digital and Printing:

  • One of the best ways to reduce your paper usage is to implement more digital components to the class.
    • Utilize your online classroom’s dropbox instead of having students print out assignments or papers. You could have them submit a word document and then use the feature “Track Changes” under Review in Microsoft Word to keep track.
  • Use power saving options on computers and laptops and turn them off when not in use.
  • If they must print something out, try to mandate double-sided printing in the requirements with the font point and number of pages.
  • If students are required to print out slides, ask them to print out six slides per sheet of paper and double-side their print job.
  • Once a paper is returned to a student, suggest that if they don’t want to keep it recycle it instead of throwing it away.
  • Print in low-quality or everyday printing.
  • When creating memos, notes, or handouts use the narrow setting, or .5 inches, instead of typical 1 inch margin to save paper.
  • Use paper with the highest postconsumer content possible when printing.


  • Use natural light when possible in class. If that is not possible, try not to use excessive lighting.
  • Reinforce good stewardship. If you see a student throwing away a recyclable material, gently suggest they recycle next time. If you see a student recycling or showing good stewardship, offer positive encouragement.
  • Suggest students get refillable notebooks or spiral notebooks made from recycled content for the class.
  • Suggest getting writing utensils that can be refilled.