Assessing Paper Usage at the Dalplex
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The greening the campus initiative encourages both staff and students to reduce the ecological footprint of their institution. The athletics facility at Dalhousie University, the Dalplex, was selected for this project for numerous reasons. Paper usage at this facility appeared to be very high. Additionally, all students have access to this building and it is a multi-faceted facility that incorporates fitness, education, school spirit, and financial areas into its operations. This study was conducted to assess the virgin paper usage within the Department of Athletics and Recreation. A variety of data collection methods were utilized over the course of the study. Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies were utilized to increase the reliability and validity of the data. Surveys were distributed among Dalplex staff, specific individuals were interviewed, and quantitative measures of paper usage were assessed. The triangulation of different methodologies assures the reliability of the study. The results of this study indicated that full-time staff print with greater frequency and in greater volume than the part time staff. It was also strongly felt by both full and part-time staff members that required tasks could be completed using less paper. Furthermore, many staff members possessed the technological skills to print and photocopy double-sided and on previously printed paper but did not incorporate this practice in the workplace. Recommendations for implementation at the Dalplex were divided into three tiers of initiatives. Level one initiatives can be implemented immediately, level two initiatives requires the investment of some funds and man hours, and level three initiatives require an alteration of current business practices.