Notebook covers are made from trees too

Lakhs of students, millions of books, thousands of trees!

It’s that time of the year again. All parents are busy collecting books from schools and covering them in brown paper sheets. They are busy shopping for school supplies. New uniforms, new bags, new tiffin sets. Why? If last year’s set is in good shape, why buy again?

The schools expect every student to buy books from them, often at a marked-up price. They also make it compulsory to buy brown paper sheets, often plastic coated and notebook labels. What’s the use of covering notebooks? If the idea is to reduce wear and tear for a longer time, why not use just newspaper sheets or old calendar pages. When the cover frays, redo the cover again with fresh sheets. I hear the Valley school Bangalore follows this eco-friendly practice.

When I was in school, we used to be jealous of students who had siblings a year or two older – they automatically got their sister’s or brother’s textbooks. By end of the school year, the rest of us scrambled to “book” textbooks from our favourite seniors. Sometimes, textbooks were even third-hand and occasionally fourth-hand – frayed and held together in a hardbound. The unlucky few had to spend money to buy new textbooks.

After exams got over, we’d collect unused pages from each book and bind them into new notebooks for rough use.

Yes, those days were harder, our parents were frugal on their spending. Things are easier now, we can afford to buy more. But there aren’t more trees in this planet, are there?

Happy Earth Day!

 Do share your experiences on this! Which are the other schools that are eco-friendly?

Related Articles

A school that set an example – 50 years ago


  1. Siri Srinivas says:

    That’s such a thought!

    Besides, the concepts of Reuse and Recycle are not “cool” anymore. It’s alarming!

  2. Radhika Raj Narayan says:

    I agree with you – why not try what my school did, 50 years ago? Your article inspired me to write about our eo-friendly school. This is the article in citizen matters:

  3. Meera K says:

    My son’s school’s book vendor provided plastic coated brown paper. I raised the issue to the school (Prakriya), and they clarified that it was not necessary to cover the books. And that one could use newspapers too.
    But few schools are this flexible and most prefer to tread a single rigid path. Including government schools. Those working as cooks or domestic help tell me how they have to spend on brown paper every year!
    Imagine the lakhs of students in the city and how much waste there is!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Where to get clay Ganeshas this festive season?

Ganesha Chaturthi is just round the corner and instead of scouring the city or the internet for eco-friendly clay Ganeshas (there's no way you could possibly be thinking of using any other type), read through these details to find out where you can pick up one or better still - make one – with hardly any effort.  Youth in the city seem to have taken a more proactive stance this year with regard to the Ganesha Chaturthi festival and its environmental impact. Two such groups -  To Make A Difference (TMAD) and Youth for Seva - are volunteering their time to minimise environmental…

Similar Story

Have a green and safe Holi-day

Last year, my son played Holi and his skin was tinted green and pink for days. Some of his friends broke out in rashes or got wheezing. So this time, my neighbours and I are quite keen on making Holi safer. Holi colours. File pic: Rajeev R. Quoting Krish Ashok, a blogger, Holi is a "spring festival where people throw coloured powders that symbolically contain Neem, Kumkum and Turmeric but really contain Lead Oxide, Copper Sulphate and Aluminium Bromide. Yet another fine example of the great Indian tradition of carrying forward the ritual meaning while leaving behind the rational significance…