Please Do Not Print this Email...

I received an email from a client today with the following phrase at the foot of their note...

"Think Green - Please do not print this email unless you really need to"

That's not only perfectly good advice but also very appropriate - I know someone who I have tried time and time again to deter from printing virtually EVERYTHING on their PC onto paper. And yes, they do print their emails. These emails are then stored away and forgotten.

Why oh why do they bother? It is so frustratingly pointless.

What a complete waste of paper, toner, electricity, money, time and space.


I agree pointless and to help them reduce wastage from this area and others we are promoting GreenPrint in the uk at this time. Feel free to visit site and download the trial.

Thank you Matt, your IT Energy site is very interesting with some thought-provoking facts and figures.

If everybody would only print when ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY then companies would save money and the environment would be better off.

Decide to not have any children - that will go farther than ANY OTHER "GREEN" METHOD in reducing landfill, pollution, global warming, resource wastage, etc. Just one baby will produce over a ton of non-biodegradable diaper waste - and if you think you'll be "green" by going the cloth diaper route, you'll be using over 22,000 gallons of water (plus detergent) to clean those cloth diapers (not to mention the water, fertilizer & pesticides necessary to spray on the cotton that produces the diapers).

So - you can either not print that email (gee, you really sacrificed, didn't you?) or you can REALLY make a HUGE impact by not having children (who won't have children, who won't have children, etc. ad infinitum).

Zero Pop, that's a fair enough point but how do you intend to legislate that or is it only intelligent, caring & forward-thinking people who wish to save the planet that should not procreate? That would leave all those who don't care to populate the earth. Brilliant.

I think you've gone too far down your route against having children. 22,000 gallons of water, where does that figure come from? Does this factor-in washing by hand or using a washing machine? Is it an energy-efficient machine, i.e. an "A rated" appliance? Is it a detergent based on plant-extracts or that nasty smelling chemical stuff? And how much fertilizer and pesticide is used in organic cotton diapers?

So by simply distilling the issue down to it being a case of not printing an email vs not having children you're focusing in far too narrowly here, Zero Pop, and missing all the other tricks.

Compare me and my own one child to a guy I know who has none: I print 2 sheets of paper a year, he prints 1000 a month. I maintain a 14-year old car whilst he gets a new one every 6 months. I work by the natural light of the window, he uses 16 strip lights. My biodegradable waste goes in my composter, his goes in the trash. My tin foil and cans go in the recycling, again his go in the trash.

So, as you can see, it's more than just DO NOT PRINT THIS EMAIL against not having children.

Let me know any more information on the subject, Zero Pop, I'd be happy to hear from you :)

We stopped sending paper invoices to customers about 8 years ago. We just "print" them to PDF and email it. We do the same with statements and all accounting reports. Not only you don't waste paper, you have it perpetually saved on your server. And here's another benefit: if you ever need to look up a figure or a customer transaction or virtually any phrase, even from years earlier, all you have to do is do a text search in your archive pint folder and save hours of digging through rims of old paper reports. It's a no-brainer.

Absolutely spot-on there Barry, it's good to know that there are people out there who have "seen the light" so long ago :) I'm with you on the Search/find too; How on earth is anybody to find anything in an old paper system when "enter your search term" and GO are all that is needed in this day and age?

I have a client who insists on printing a hard copy of an email newsletter each & every week for the last 8 years! Even though there is an original 15k HTML version with a live test copy on a web server that is additionally backed up regularly, they absolutely insist on a 2-page paper copy so that they "know what the newsletter looks like" and can refer to it again, even of they have no network or internet!

Those 800 A4 sheets so far are the same as 2x reams of paper at nearly £10 total and occupy valuable space in a filing cabinet in an office. For the same price they could have a 4Gb USB drive and store all those emails and very many more for years to come and all in their pocket too!

I'm astounded at how wasteful some people can still be these days.