Remember when people used to say, "The Internet and computers will create a paperless society. We won't have to print stuff out all the time?" I was reminded of that the other day when I was substitute teaching. Well, I wasn't actually teaching. I was signed up for a job, but they didn't need me in a classroom, so I made copies.
The local high school has a website that parents can log onto to check their kids' grades. In order to give the parents access, the school is sending a letter to each parent with a username and password. You have two kids? You get two letters. Along with printing out the letters for each parent, the school also had to make a copy of each letter for its records. So that's a lot of paper that was consumed specifically because of the Internet.
I pondered this while I stared at the copy machine, and I thought, "Parents can't use this without Internet access. If they have that, they must have e-mail. Why not e-mail out this information?" I would suspect there is a substantial proportion of parents who will not make use of this service, so they'll just throw the letter away (I'd advise them to shred it). So this seems like a bad strategy.
I could save the school district so much money. But then again, the Post Office seems to need all the business it can get. And substitute teachers like me need work to do.