Tree-huggers and one-cent books

About three years ago one of my friends took a picture of me hugging a tree.

Guilty.

Last week, I had to buy a sketchpad for one of my subjects – animation. Being the cheapskate I am, and knowing that I have piles of notebooks at home that aren’t used because I deem the paper ‘too cute to use’, I chose the cheapest sketchpad. It was only a dollar cheaper than the next one up, but I chose it anyway. It was eleven dollars for fifty sheets; when you divide that up, it’s like paying 20 cents for each sheet. Really? At this rate I have already used about two dollars.

I used to love back-to-school shopping with a passion. Now that I’m in university I don’t really need many supplies. I have my laptop, which is all good, and I only really need a few notebooks. Now I don’t need to go back-to-school shopping; I don’t need to buy a new calculator and multiple binders and exercise books. My family used to go absolutely bonkers over the cheap exercise books. They were only about 90 pages, and a small sort of size, but they were one cent each.

I’m not joking. One cent. Splashed all over the covers of catalogues and brochures – the amazing, cheap, versatile (okay, maybe not) one-cent books. They were ridiculously famous. And of course, there was the limit.

“Limit 100 per customer”.

Only a dollar for a hundred. We’d often buy 20 of those, maybe 50 – because after all, they were just one cent. What made me feel guilty was that after buying a supply of 50, they would be in the cupboard for many years before we went through all of them. I often felt bad so I just used some of them as scrapbooks or scrap paper. As my mum said, “it’s only one cent”. One cent that may be but how many trees were killed? 😧

I’m not a hugely green person, but when it comes to recycling paper, putting rubbish in the bin, saving energy – I try to do that as much as humanely possible, provided my laziness does not get in the way. They have Earth hour to turn off the lights, but sorry, I won’t turn off my computer. 😛

We have a pile of scrap paper in a folder at home, which has literally been there for a year. I just have never needed to use that scrap paper, because every time I get a handout or something from class, and no longer need it, I use the back of that paper to doodle or write to-do lists on. Paper is always coming in. When I’m done with my old mail and envelopes, I write poems on the back. We are really killing trees. The paper is endlessly coming in.

Today my animation teacher unfortunately had to admit that we would be killing forests in this subject. When some of us wanted to cut our large pieces of paper in half for an animation exercise, he said we couldn’t afford to save paper in this subject. I guess that’s true; for I’d imagine illustrators working for Walt Disney Productions would have used a lot of paper to draw sketches and versions of their characters.

I think it just sucks that paper is sometimes expensive to buy. I care to recycle, but the government goes on killing trees to make us vote for their representatives and shit. I remember that when I went to vote, they handed out all these brochures and leaflets and things. A lot of people just tossed them in the bin. The regular bin. That made me a little sad.

Go and hug a tree today. 🙂

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