The Black & White

Hallway posters waste paper, money for little benefit

By Lucy Chen

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This is a public service announcement: plastering posters for your club event on every flat surface in the school may seem like a great way to advertise, but it makes Whitman look like a subway station.

Graphic by Chris Hodgman.

More importantly, the posters waste resources our community tries hard to save—last year, the Green Team put up environmental awareness stickers on every paper towel dispenser in the school, and this year, Montgomery County is coordinating Earth Day conservation initiatives all throughout April, even though the day itself is on April 22. Clubs and organizations should cut down on their poster use and rely on cheaper, more effective advertising mediums, like Facebook.

Hallway posters afford little advertising value for the paper, ink and effort that go into making them. Printer ink is infamously expensive nowadays, and nobody needs a reminder that paper comes from trees. Wasting resources to spell out huge words with posters is the antithesis of conservationism. Moreover, many clubs use school printers to make their posters. Considering the budget cuts MCPS has undergone recently, this allocation of funds makes little sense.

With all the other distractions in the hallways—friends to talk to, tests to worry about, texts to answer—a student can’t possibly pay attention to every colorful 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper that catches her eye. The excessive number of posters makes even the carefully designed art department ads look overdone, and the fact that nobody takes them down after the advertised event only worsens the issue.

There is a place for neat, attractive posters at Whitman, but only in moderation. Administrators already approve poster designs before they go up, so they could easily impose printing limits as well.

Besides, there exists a wide variety of effective in-school advertising alternatives. A single strategically placed bulletin board with posters would attract a significant number of students who are actually looking for clubs and upcoming events. The electronic text scrollers in the main hallway and gym entrance could run highly visible ads as well. Online social networks also offer great opportunities for free advertising—the SGA used Facebook to raise hype for bRAVE, and 500 kids ended up attending.

Ultimately, hanging up so many posters in the hallways won’t single-handedly destroy the Amazon Rainforest. But with all the existing alternatives, doing so is just wasteful and environmentally irresponsible.


6 Responses to “Hallway posters waste paper, money for little benefit”

  1. abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz on April 12th, 2012 7:19 am

    Boring. Gerat article though.

  2. CM Punk on April 13th, 2012 8:49 am

    Those are two contradictory statements. I must say though that not everyone goes on FB frequently enough to see all the ads for school clubs or groups.

  3. boring on April 15th, 2012 9:24 pm

    I agree – paper use is excessive; I dunno about facebook though. Why not use the online b&w?

  4. Ryan Kemper on April 17th, 2012 10:44 am

    This is a very interesting article! very insightful and i have to agree!

  5. Valdo on April 18th, 2012 12:40 pm

    gotta save some of dat tree doee

  6. interested party on April 19th, 2012 11:28 am

    oh come on nothing grabs your atttention like a good poster on the wall i disagree completly.