UTBEAT - U of T Biology Environmental Action Team


Double-siding blurb for instructors

The following is recommended text to include in syllabi for courses with a double-siding policy. Any TAs should also be informed of this policy.


All assignments in this course are to be double-sided without a cover page.  If you have never double-sided a document, be sure to familiarize yourself in advance with your computer’s settings or the process of printing at school. 

A few key points to note:

  1. Difficulty in double-siding will not be accepted as an excuse for lateness, just as “printer problems” are not appropriate excuses.
  2. Be sure that pages flip on the “long-edge”.  This means that when the pages are turned from right to left as in a book, the text is not oriented upside down.
  3. Use paper of standard weight and thickness, so that the text of one side is not visible on the other.

Double-siding at school
On St. George Campus, there are several locations that permit double-sided printing.  These include (but are not limited to)

  • Robarts Library
  • Gerstein Library
  • Noranda Earth Sciences Library (Earth Sciences Centre)
  • CQUEST lab (Ramsay Wright 211)

Please note that if you are printing at a library, you will need to obtain a UTORid and load money onto your T-card.  The CQUEST lab requires a CQUEST account.

Further optional information to include in the syllabus

Why double-side?
Using both sides of each sheet of paper is very simple and can help save money, energy, and trees.  Double-sided documents also save space and weigh half as much as single-sided documents.


Printing on both sides of a sheet of paper is an easy way to reduce paper use by half.  The most common reason put forward for conserving paper is that it saves trees and, in some cases, natural ecosystems.  However, there are other good reasons.  Paper production requires substantial energy (Statistics Canada, 2005) and water (Statistics Canada, 2004).  In addition, while impressive measures have been taken to reduce the release of pollutants such as methanol, dioxins, and furans, the pulp and paper industry continues to be one of the greatest contributors to air and water pollution (Environment Canada, 2003). 

Double-siding guide
Detailed double-siding instructions can be found at http://utbeat.biology.utoronto.ca/doublesiding.html

Additional/alternative paper-conserving options

You may also ask students to:

  • print single-spaced
  • print assignments on clean, unwrinkled scrap paper which has been previously printed on one side.
  • submit your assignments electronically to your TA

Another method that may reduce paper waste is to provide lecture notes online in condensed formats (as currently done in BIO250). For example, you may give students the option of printing 3, 6, or 12 slides per page.


Environment Canada. 2003. "Informing Canadians on pollution 2003: Highlights of the 2001 National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI)".

Statistics Canada. 2004. "Study: Water use and the performance of the Canadian economy".

Statistics Canada. 2005. "Report on energy supply-demand in Canada".


How to double-side

Want to save trees, energy and money? Check out this guide to double-sided printing at home and at school.

Photo in banner by Jenny Downing, creative commons