Save a tree, don’t print this email!

Update March, 2012: This blog entry has received a lot of hits over the last few years. Thanks! I mostly stand by everything I wrote in this message from August 2008 except the Kindle has really taken off and I have gotten used to it. I still read faster from paper and books but the Kindle is much easier to lug around though using it for reference material is extremely difficult. I still receive emails with these stupidly huge signatures and graphics telling me to save a tree and it is still as moronic today as it was in 2008. I’m glad my fellow ipHouse employees don’t do this.

I have been seeing this more and more from the company contacts/marketers/sales persons that email me as part of their 20 line signature (with 3-5 graphics, including the words listed in the subject of this post…as a graphic with a leaf on the left or right).


First – I have only met a few people that print their emails regularly, and they are lawyers. No, this isn’t a slam on lawyers, it is as I said, the only people I have seen that print emails regularly are they. I don’t know anyone in the IT field (even myself in the service provider field) print emails to read.

Second – if you don’t want your content printed, why do you send 190 page PDF/Word/HTML documents to me for consideration? Do you really expect me to read your content on a computer screen? Do you realize that reading things on a screen is a lot more exhaustive on the eyes than reading on paper? Even with the Amazon Kindle (and others) electronic-paper, books are still the preferred medium for reading for entertainment and learning. I also find I read far faster on paper than on screen. I don’t know why. And I have less eye strain.

Please, get off of your high horse; if you want to save the planet (and not just a tree), go back to text/plain email as it is smaller and faster to send using less storage and bandwidth. Less storage and bandwidth equates to less energy usage.

And, I must assume, you do realize that most paper companies are replanting their farms right? And a tree can grow again. Coal doesn’t grow and can’t be replanted. Neither do the rods in the nuke power plant.

To sum it up: Save the planet, use text/plain email and stop wasting my bandwidth, storage, and energy to store your missives. If you have a large document to send, how about this piece of genius: put it on a website, put the link in your now easier to read (and much smaller) text/plain email, and those that want to print it can, those that want to read it online can, and only those that actually want to review your content will use the bandwidth.