December 21, 2021, (College Park, M.D.) - In a promising step toward becoming more eco -friendly, the Al-Huda School and Al-Huda Global office has announced that it is now officially paperless. This means that all student records, sign-ins, sign-outs, and administrative paperwork are now entirely digitized.
AHS/AGS technology coordinator, Shamila Hashim, spoke of the spark that motivated this initiative: "About five to six years back, I attended a meeting and met with a principal from another school where they are fully green. So then I started looking into how much copying is done from our copy machines and got reports on the energy and trees used. It was scary."
She continues, "Just before COVID-19 hit, we had already started digitizing all of our records to avoid paper usage. As soon as COVID-19 hit, mashaa Allah (as God wills) it was like we were already prepared for anything. We were able to digitize all of our student records and data into one system and organize it such that it is easily accessible and consistent with how it is used.This news comes in the wake of many recent initiatives and accomplishments of the schools, including extensive renovations to its building and launching its own new Islamic Studies curriculum.
Wondering what it actually means from a fiscal and environmental perspective to go paperless? Here are the facts: In the United States, four million tons of paper are used annually, sourced from hundreds of thousands of acres of trees. Because paper is 40 percent carbon, about 1.6 million tons of carbon will be released into the environment due to paper usage. Existing high levels of forest degradation paired with this carbon release contributes significantly to the warming of our planet.
According to recently published research conducted by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the average office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of paper a year. Additionally, experts over at One Paper Lane i.e., Medium note that American corporations "spend over $120 billion on printed forms, most of which become outdated within three months."
Going green aligns with our second institutional goal of SHOW- specifically, showing gratitude to Allah in our interactions with the environment. While the fiscal and environmental benefits of conservation are important in and of themselves, it is the prophetic teaching of Muhammad (peace be upon him) that underpins the real value of environmental conservation: “The Companions asked, ‘Oh Allah’s Messenger! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?” He replied: "There is a reward for serving any living being."