Homework Kills Trees

“Homework kills trees!”  This is the latest reason my niece has concocted as to why we should all hate homework.  It’s genius really.  Appeals to the nature of all us tree huggers in the world, which I’m sure is enough people to change some legislation about this whole homework fiasco!

Anyway, that was the way the conversation started.  And just because it was a long car ride, I brought up the possibility that maybe she uses more toilet paper than she does school paper.  And so the investigation begins. 

“How many sheets of paper do you think you use for homework each night?”

“Probably like 12”.  (Wow!  That is a lot!  I’m already wondering if I can even make a dent in the argument.)

“Okay, so you’re required to go to school for 180 days of the year.  That’s 2160 pieces of paper.”  (I am totally lying here.  I did not say that…there is no way that I’d be multiplying 180 times 12 in my head while I’m driving on the thruway!  I just now did the calculation on my sister’s calculator, which I could barely figure out how to remove the cover from).

“And that doesn’t even count school work”.

“You mean work you do AT school”.


“Well, you were talking about homework, so let’s just stick with that for a minute, okay”.  (Geez…one problem at a time, kid!) 

BTW, my sister didn’t want me to post about TP.  She’s seen too many blog posts from certain people that are about TP.  I guess she doesn’t want my blog to sink to that level 😉 .  But it had to happen some day.  After all, I did use to be the queen of all the pee and poo in the world.  (Is this the battle cry of all moms of young children?).  Anywhooooo…if you are sick of TP topics, feel free to stop reading this post.  And I promise not to let my blog become overrun with TP.  So back to the conversation…

“So when you go to the bathroom, how many squares of toilet paper do you think you pull off the roll?”

“I don’t know”.  (Duh.  Rolling of eyes).

“Let’s take a guess.  When I started paying attention to how much I was using, I realized that I was yanking three times.  Let’s just guess that with each yank I pulled off 3 squares.  That’s 9 squares.”  (Aha, I didn’t need the calculator for that one!).  “And how many trips to the bathroom do you think you might make  in a day?”

“I don’t know”.  (Duh.  More rolling of eyes.  Why would I know the answer to this, if I didn’t know the answer to the last question?  Duh!).

“All right.  Let’s estimate, shall we?”

“Whatev.”  (When is she going to shut up so I can get back to listening to my i-pod?).

“So, let’s say you go to the bathroom first thing in the morning and once before bed and then approximately every four hours during the day.  So that’s about 4 times a day, not including #2.  Now, take that and multiply that times the number of squares…9…that comes to 36 squares a day…”

“Uh-huh”.  (Darn, 36 is more than 12.  But TP is smaller than homework paper…maybe I can still win).

“…and you use toilet paper every day right?”

“Uh-huh”.  (Rats!)

“So 36 times 365 is 13140”.  (Again, I’m lying here.  I never calculated this in my head.  There was a lot of estimating in the conversation…and the conversation pretty much ended with “we’re going to have to investigate further, don’t you think?”  To which she said yes.  To which I proposed that we both post about it on our blogs.  To which she said she didn’t want to put it on her blog.  But she’s been bugging me to do it for the last couple of days…I guess she doesn’t mind if I make a fool of myself.)

“But TP is smaller than homework paper”.

“Okay, let’s see.  What do you think?  Maybe about 5 squares of TP equals one sheet of homework paper?”


“So, take 13140 and divide it by 5 (I don’t need to mention the lying again, do I?)  and you come up with 2628.”


Oh!  My estimates in the car were way off!  This number actually turned out to prove my point!  In the car, it wasn’t looking like it was going my way (which is why the conversation was postponed 😉 ).

“And that doesn’t even take into account that you might be using two-ply TP”.  (Score!)

Silence.  Raised eyebrow that says “so?”.

“So, I guess you should hate using TP too!”


Heehee.  High compliments coming from an almost teen!

“You could use a washcloth”.


“Ok, so let’s just say you needed to take a shower.  Would you prefer to rub yourself all over with a washcloth…or with TP.”


Heehee.  This must be ticking her off a little…’cause it’s a bit like homework to be having to think.  And she can’t even claim it’s killing the trees!  I’m so mean!


On her side, I’d like to propose a solution to the whole dilemma…

…use the homework to wipe!  That should make her happy.  ‘Cause isn’t that where kids think homework belongs anyway?!


P.S.  I’m on pins and needles waiting to see if she’ll comment or if she will be too embarrassed.  And if she’ll ever want to take a long car ride with me again!

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2 Responses to Homework Kills Trees

  1. Annie says:

    I do think we should wipe with are homwork cuz it IS POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  2. Purplume says:

    Fascinating post. I hugged a tree three times today so far. I always hug a palm tree as I take off and put on my flip flops at the beach.

    You make me realize wiping with a washcloth is much nicer, if it weren’t for the laundry and especially storing them until they get laundered.

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