Benet Academy Does Not Speak for the Trees


Benet Academy

This area outside Benet Hall is where many trees are on campus. Here, Benet Academy students who are a part of Environmental Club plant a tree in 2021.

The harrowing story of the Onceler’s Thneed business in The Lorax teaches us a great lesson about the importance of conserving the vital resources of our planet, especially our trees. However, despite the lesson that The Lorax teaches the Oncelor at the end of the book, Benet Academy does not seem to “speak for the trees.” For the first three quarters of the 2022 to 2023 school year, Benet Academy has collectively used over 1.5 million pieces of printer paper due to printed papers. 

This amount of paper is absurd. On average, the amount of paper produced from a tree is 16.67 reams of copy paper. A ream is defined as 500 sheets of copy paper. This means a tree can produce an average of 8,335 pieces of paper. Stacked on each other, the paper stack would span 153 meters high, which is over double the height of the Sydney Opera House. If each piece of paper were folded seven times, the stack would reach 19584 meters tall, an astonishing 23.65 times higher than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. 

A tree produces about 14,550 pounds of oxygen throughout its lifetime. As Benet Academy has destroyed over 180 of them, it has contributed to the loss of over 2,619,000 pounds of oxygen over these three quarters of the school year alone. This is enough oxygen to last a human over 1605 years, given that they use 740 kilograms of oxygen each year, or enough oxygen to provide each of Benet Academy’s 1,313 students oxygen for 1.222 years. 

All in all, Benet Academy has used over 180 trees through its extravagant paper use. Moreover, although that may all seem fine now, in the long run, it is not sustainable for our environment. Benet Academy should learn from the story of The Lorax and become one with nature. 

To combat its paper use, Benet Academy has adopted new free ways to teach its curriculum. This newspaper you are reading is digital, to avoid using unnecessary paper. Teachers use online textbooks, google documents, slideshows, and charts. Benet Academy also has its own Environmental Club highlighting environmental problems, such as our schools’ rampant paper use. 

Paper waste accounts for 26% of space in Earth’s landfills. It is essential to try to reduce our usage, as Benet Academy has been doing over the past several years. With global warming and climate change becoming more critical each year, it is crucial to recall that up to 20% of all global greenhouse gas emissions from humans are due to deforestation, which is directly tied to paper production. In perspective, this amount of global greenhouse gas emissions is more than the emissions of all passenger vehicles on our plane. Therefore, whenever you see paper being wasted at Benet Academy, be sure you are the one speaking for the trees.