Paper Glass

This post is triggered by a photo posted on FaceBook by my friend, Rajeesh Thankappan. 

Paper Glass

Here’s the message so that everyone can read it carefully: 

“approx 14,400 paper glasses….

I am working in my office…and there’s a paper glass lying on the water dispenser right outside my department. It serves me every time i need to quench my thirst. As the shift progresses, I see people moving along the glass door, and a pile of used glasses accumulating in the dustbin there. People take a sip and throw it away. But my glass still remains there. It’s still good enough for a full day’s use. 

A simple calculation has helped me realize that i have manged to save roughly 14k paper glasses in the last 6 years. Feels gud !

A small contribution can make a big difference for each of us and for our future generations. So please do your bit too!!”

I was touched when I saw this message. Something that in our every day life, people tend to forget. By saving 14000 glasses, do we have an idea of how many trees we have saved? For those who are not aware, a paper glass is made out of paper and is coated with plastic or wax to prevent the liquid from leaking out or soaking through the paper. By saving 14000 cups in 6 years, he has managed to save about 2300 cups a year. In an organization with a minimum of 100 employees, if each employee shows such wisdom, in a year, we’ll save over 233K paper glasses and thus so many trees. Now multiply that into the number of companies that are there in this country. Isn’t it an enormous amount of savings?  

But the mentality most people have is,

Why should I be the one to save?”

“This money is anyway not coming into my pocket.

My response to this breed is,

My dear fellas, the money thus saved reflects in your company’s profitability and thus might help the company to provide you with better facilities or give you some raise at some point in time. The trees thus saved will provide enough oxygen to you and your loved ones and will help keep the pollution levels under control reducing your doctor visits, thus saving consultation charges and chemist shop bills.”

It doesn’t stop with paper glasses. People are using facilities in a highly irresponsible manner. 

It is the same scenario near the printer where hundreds and hundreds of printed papers are lying without anyone to claim ownership. Tissue papers in the cafeteria as well as the wash-rooms in many organizations and shopping malls are used as if they were like Draupadi’s saree turned into a non-ending robe by Krishna. The water taps that help you get refreshed or quench your thirst, are left running. After all, it takes a lot of effort to turn off the same tap that you opened just minutes ago…isn’t it? It is also a huge task to switch off the lights in the conference room that your just vacated….isn’t it? 

Every bit counts.

Every drop counts.

And you! You’re definitely accountable.


I’m definitely going to save my paper glass for the day.

Are you going to do the same?

24 Replies to “Paper Glass”

  1. Good! I think this is one of the traits that I have been insisting through out my life. I am happy that you are practicing it before preaching! Good luck to all the readers, who may spread the message for our own good.

  2. Very relevant matter. We tend to copy our western friends in the indiscriminate use of disposable stuff.
    A good system:
    1. Try not to use paper glasses for water. Why use even one paper glass a day? In your own office, use a stainless steel tumbler or a good quality plastic mug, both of which are unbreakable.
    2. If one is outside, use only one paper glass a day. If a few people are at a small discussion table, where glasses are likely to be moved around and get mixed up, each person should write her/his initials on her/his glass. This is a proven method.

    1. Exactly. We tend to copy everything except their discipline. Their traffic sense if implemented here in India can make it such a marvelous place. Isn’t it? Each one of us can make such a big difference, but unfortunately like Hanuman, we too need to be reminded of our power every now and then. But unlike us, Hanuman didn’t forget his strength and powers for his own selfish interest. 🙂

  3. We try to ape the West but forget conveniently to adopt the best like their traffic sense , punctuality and civic cleanliness . The wax coating of the cup melts when hot tea or coffee is poured and we drink the adulterated drink endangering our own life.

  4. Good one dear will follow you 🙂 by the way I am having a bottle of my own for water during the office hrs so I rarely use paper glass 🙂

  5. Very nice post! Yes every drop counts……if people started thinking like that and understand their duties and responsibility towards environment and society then India will be a different and better place to live. This one is a vast topic…..and there are innumerable things that counts.

  6. 🙂 Washable containers are best. I quite like the idea of the water fountain – although it is not very comfortable drinking from that. Another way is to carry one’s own refillable bottle, like kids do to school.

    Interesting post – and a wonderful teaser in the WT group!

  7. I carry my own water bottle to office, I wipe my hands and face using my hand kerchief. These are the simplest ways to save paper, aren’t they and this is something that all of us have done as youngsters and therefore there is no learning curve involved 😀

  8. Great Post Rekha..made me think…I am one of those throw off the paper glass types….I will make sure to get get my plastic cup (That was left forgotten in the depth and darkness of my drawer) and use it instead

  9. Thanks Rex! this is excatly the reason why I carry my own tumbler to office…though additional baggage. Since we are into higher education, paper waste was becoming common, hence decide to make the application completely paperless :-).

    Doing my bit!

  10. I have always been cautious in such things – and have become more environment friendly as I grow. Nice to see others do the same. Our collective efforts will surely serve its purpose.

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