If we continue to live they way we do now, we will need at least two planets worth of resources by 2050 to survive!

  •  Based on known sources and current production levels, oil will finish in 45 years, gas in 60 years and coal in 120 years!
  •  If global temperatures rise more than 1.5-2.5 C, up to 30% of plant and animal species could become extinct.

Today is Saturday 28th March and in a couple of hours the world will practice the Earth Hour.

It is an hour to turn our lights off, stop using electricity for only an hour and help save our planet. International organisations have asked people to use their power to change climate change. Here in Kuala Lumpur, where I have spent my last 362 days, they will symbolically switch off the Twin Towers to show their commitment to the planet and in my home town, Tehran, a similar thing will happen at Tehran Milad Tower and people will enjoy electricity-free candle-lit dinners from 8.30 to 9.30. (You are definitely reading this post after March 28th. What did you do for the Earth Hour?)

I am doing my own bit as a British Council Green Champion and have sent numerous messages to friends in order to spread the word and make our planet greener and healthier and I am planning to write here and connect this to TeachingEnglish March blog topics!

I am not going to tell you about electricity, but paper! Teacher usually use a lot of paper on a daily basis and that's what education is all concerned about. Let's check a couple of paper facts first:

  • 40% of the world's industrial logging goes into making paper, and this is expected to reach 50% in the near future 1.
  • Paper production is the third most energy-intensive of all manufacturing industries, using over 12% of all energy in the industrial sector 2.

A piece of paper looks clean and figuratively innocent but unfortunately, paper making process is not a clean one and paper-making companies release a wide range of chemicals and make air, water and land dirty and polluted! I read somewhere that forests are disappearing at the rate of 20 football fields per second because of pulp and paper production 3!

I strongly believe we, teachers, can do a lot in this regard! Classroom writing activities can turn digital and a lot of paper can be saved. Over the last 7 months, I have only printed 10 sheets of paper and they were for my formal observation sessions where I had to have paper back-up for some activities.

This is where I am going to relate this issue to March blog topics- innovative writing feedback methods! Instead of asking our students to write on paper and then we mark those pieces of paper and give them back which is both a time-consuming and a filthy process, we can instead apply some technology and make the process fun, clean, fast, interesting, green and (I presume) more productive.

I have tried and tested several techie writing feedback methods and have collected the most practical ones in a blog post:

techie writing feedback methods

Feel free to comment on any of them and at least try them once. Our earth needs our help! How green are your feedback sessions?

  1. Abromovitz, Janet. (1998). Taking a Stand: Cultivating a New Relationship with the World's Forests. Washington DC: Worldwatch Institute.
  2. Environmental Paper Network. (2007). The State of the Paper Industry 2007. Retrieved from http://environmentalpaper.org/state-of-the-paper-industry-2007.php.
  3. http://betterpaper.ning.com/page/paper-faqs


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