Dear Rebecca,

Can you please explain this new alien printer system to me? How do I use it, and, more importantly, what can I do about the guilty conscience it’s giving me?


Printer-less Paul


Dear Printer-less,

I’m totally with you on this one.

Initially, I, too, was wary of Blueprint. First of all, I was sad I never had a chance to say a real farewell to Uniprint. I hadn’t figured out how to install the Uniprint printer driver (or VPN, for that matter) until last reading week. And I was incredibly bummed when I got back to campus and realized all of last semester’s hard work was not going to pay off.

Because there’s a new printer in town, folks, and this printer has a conscience. Those of you who have tried using Blueprint know what I mean. When you log on to your PaperCut user page, you see not only your running balance (in a convenient graph format, because who doesn’t love graphs?) but also the environmental impact of your printing decisions.

After printing just a few dozen pages, I was shocked to realize how close I was to cutting down an entire tree. I was also burning light bulbs and using carbon, but I don’t really understand the carbon thing. So let’s focus on the trees.

The good news for you is that I ran the numbers, and, if my amateur ratios are correct, you actually need to print approximately over 1400 pages to kill an entire tree. You on your own probably won’t do that, but if you click “Open Environmental Dashboard” under your environmental impact on PaperCut, you can see where Yale stands as an organization. As I write this, Yale has printed the equivalent of 310 trees. I know it is the beginning of the semester and so there are a lot of syllabi coming off the presses … but that’s a lot.

So, what to do about your guilty conscience, Paul?

You should do what we should have been doing all along. Remember that the decisions you make every day impact the environment. It isn’t just printing, but maybe Blueprint will be your starting point.

But if Blueprint’s numbers don’t inspire you to act, then, as my friend who is both a FOOT leader and an EVST major suggest, go outside and breathe some fresh air. Appreciate how beautiful the world is and let that motivate you to be a little more sustainable in everything you do. Turn off your lights when you leave the room. Take shorter showers. Bring a reusable thermos to Blue State. Recycle as much as you possibly can. Remind your suitemates to do the same and double your impact.

You could also plant trees to help offset your printing costs. I just Googled it and found this one organization that plants trees for 10 cents each. I made the minimum $5 donation. Of course, this doesn’t give me free reign to print 50 trees-worth of paper (there’s no way I need 70,000 pages this year, even with my thesis). But planting trees is better than not planting trees.

Going Green,


P.S.: Be sure to Google “Blueprint Yale,” not just “Blueprint” when you’re trying to find your printer page. Otherwise, you’ll end up on the website for that really expensive juice fast, feeling bad about the world we live in all over again.


Dear Rebecca,

I’ve chosen my classes. Now, how do I choose the right notebooks?

Seeing dots and lines,

Handwritten Harriet


Dear Handwritten,

It sometimes seems like notebook shopping is even harder than shopping for classes. The right notebook can make even a boring seminar an exciting time to practice your handwriting. And maybe you didn’t know this, but I am crazy about paper.

I collect and impulse-buy notebooks like I am being paid to do so. My backpack is heavier after a trip to Muji than it is after a trip to Bass because I buy more notebooks than I could ever possibly use. (If you’re looking for the black market for Muji notebooks, you’ve found it right here.)

So at the beginning of every semester, I’m less nervous about turning in my schedule than I am about figuring out what notebooks I should use for what classes. Because not all notebooks are created equal, and ,when you have two friends, also connoisseurs of the paper arts, who routinely gift you blank books, you end up with a lot of choices. You could say that my notebook stack is thicker than my Blue Book.

Start off by thinking about how much you’ll be writing in the class. Is it a once-a-week seminar where you will be a casual note taker? Or is it a lecture in which you will write down the professor’s speeches verbatim? Will you be drawing graphs or doing math? Each of these classes calls for a different notebook. As you reflect, consider page count, binding and paper quality. And paper comes in grid, dots, lines, blank. Run through the possible scenarios. Think about colors. Do some soul searching.

And you may be tempted to think that this is a Moleskine world, and we’re just living in it. But you’d be wrong. There are Muji, Whitelines, Fabriano and Rhodia options at your disposal. Even the notebooks with the Yale crest are perfect for some situations. Like when you want even your notes to be pretentious.

This semester, it took me two days to choose my notebooks, because I had to sleep on my decision. Twice. Now, I’m pretty excited about the orange theme I’ve got going on. I’m into the A5 size because I’m taking mostly seminars and I don’t like having pages leftover. I’m even branching out with a reporter-style notebook for my thesis. Bold, I know.

So take your time. Before you make any rash decisions, go to Hulls and leaf through their amazing notebook selection. Smell the pages. I do that, and they might think I’m weird, but they still don’t know my name, so I think I’m okay.

Or you could ignore all this advice and do the environment a solid. If your seminar professors will allow it, go paperless. Personally, I like my handwriting too much to be able to do that, but I’d be impressed if you could.

Happiest with a new set of blank pages,



Contact Rebecca Levinsky at .