Monday, October 02, 2006

Garing National High School's success in paper making

Students of Garing National High School (GNHS) of Consolacion town in Cebu province save and make money by producing their own writing paper out of waste paper.

This project was spearheaded by the local government and school officials in 1997. Despite the school’s lack of equipment, like shredder, cutter and grinder, students were able to produce handmade paper using their own creativity and improvised tools under the supervision of science teacher Rizza Palang and technology and livelihood education teacher Florencio Cortez.

Following a simple process, they shred waste paper into tiny pieces and soak them in the water to soften them. They pound the pulp and put this into the molder, smoothen it with a roller and let it dry. Finally, the handmade, chemical-free paper is removed, ready for use—without any cost except for the waste paper as its main material. The finished products are not only good for writing but they are also compatible with computer printing.

After teachers check the students’ paperwork, the students get the sheets of paper and recycle them. This project has had immense effects. First, it means no trash. Second, it helps students save money since they won’t have to go downtown and buy paper. Third, it develops the entrepreneurial skills of students because they learn to produce and sell.

For its implementation of a practical and environment-friendly project, GNHS won for itself a P200,000 Henry Ford conservation and environmental grant in January 2005.

The grant is a legacy of the late American automobile maker Henry Ford, known to be an environmentalist during his time. With the support of Solid Waste Center, GNHS will use the grant to build a separate center for paper making in GNHS.

They are currently doing the paper production at their science laboratory donated by the Aboitiz Group Foundation Inc. They will soon propose this project to be implemented and promoted in other schools in Consolacion and eventually in the whole province of Cebu.

For now, the school’s student organization sells the recycled paper to classmates who don’t make their own paper. The school requires all students to use handmade paper.

In three months, they can earn P1,000.

They plan to sell their paper in the town once they can increase production. (SunStar Cebu)

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