Taking Greening Too Far?

Y’know, there are some people you just can’t make happy. I’m one of them.

After just writing 2 posts about the benefits of recycling last week, here I am faced with a situation in which I do not think the greenest way is the best way.

Brandeis recently sent out this e-mail explaining that the University will go back to printing physical copies of the University Bulletin due to student demand, but that to be green and efficient, you must purchase a copy for $12.50.

I am pleased to announce that we now have a print edition of the University Bulletin 2011-2012 available for ordering.

We decided last year, after repeated inquiries, that we would take on the additional work of formatting and proofing a print copy. We thought the greenest and most efficient method for printing would be to use a self-publishing company (in this case Lulu). We thus avoid printing extraneous copies, and place the cost burden on the actual user of the print copy (which may encourage people to think about whether they really need a printed copy after all!).

The unit cost of the Bulletin is $12.25 plus shipping.

I hope you find this useful, and we’ll have proof of that one way or the other by the number of copies ordered!

As the e-mail states, this policy of charging students for something that they may not have easy access to otherwise (some people do not bring computers to school, or experience internet failure, etc.) “may encourage people to think about whether they really need a printed copy after all!”

I’m pretty sure that if they are taking the trouble to order a copy, they have thought about if “they really need a printed copy after all.”

While it would be environmentally-friendly and still student-friendly to require students to put in a special request for the Bulletins, rather than handing them out at random or en masse, requiring students to pay for them helps the environment but not the students who have no other alternatives.

So, while I applaud the enthusiasm, I frown on the drastic measures taken, Brandeis. Try to get a better balance next time.






2 responses to “Taking Greening Too Far?”

  1. Kelsey

    Also, pertinent offices such as academic services and department offices have copies on hand. Students can certainly get their hands on a copy if needed. I think this is great considering how large the bulletin is and how much easier it is to search through what you need online.

  2. Terrance

    Sure some students don’t bring a computer to campus, but aren’t there readily available computers to use in the library and other buildings on campus? Doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to me to come to campus thirty minutes early to take advantage.