With over 22,000 students at 28 schools across 13 states and the even the Island of Curacao participating, the first national day of action in schools to stop global warming by actually cutting carbon emissions is under way.
They're calling it "The Great Copy Machine Epidemic of 2008", shutting down their school photocopy machines and going copyless for the day.
Of course there's nothing like a bit of fun to help educate minds everywhere, and so it seems that the machine pictured above just may have been hit with a case of "Tree-biting Rabies" as part of the event. And apparently there are diagnoses coming in from schools in far places of "Treeberculosis", "Bird Flu", "Treeakillocious", and a host of other maladies as well.
Because as part of the challenge they're working to solve the mystery of what's causing the very strange, apparently contagious disease that's making school copiers chew up trees at such an amazing rate; contributing to global warming through deforestation and the tremendous amount of energy used to make paper.
To accomplish the task they're asked to "diagnose" their disease by dressing up the school copy machine with the symptoms their machine is experiencing, and placing it under quarantine for the day.
And while no one is quite certain just yet who will solve the crisis, the simple truth is that with schools large and small, public and private, and at every grade level participating, there is certain to be a copy crisis team out there who will crack the case.
Of course, the greatest achievement of the day's events will be the growing sense of awareness in schools that each student and every teacher can make a difference in simple ways like considering their use of photocopies. But they'll also be saving approximately 3,784 pounds of CO2, leaving 16 trees standing in the forest, preventing 12,685 gallons of water from being wasted, and keeping over 1,500 pounds of solid waste out of landfills.
All without considering the energy required to actually run the machines for the day. And had every school in America took part in the day's events they'd pull off the feat of saving over 38,000 trees and 9,000,000 pounds of CO2.
Who knows if The Great Copy Machine Epidemic just may strike again next year?
**Beginning on Earth Day You Are Invited to Come Vote for the Winning Entry at www.greatcopyepidemic.com**