Don’t “Think Before You Print”: Why eco email signature messages miss the mark

Think before you print in emails

The ubiquitous “Please consider the environment before printing this email” footer might seem like a harmless nudge towards sustainability. But is it really the most effective way to be eco-conscious with our emails? Let’s delve deeper.

Please consider the environment for printing this document

Why the Signature Falls Short:

  • Preaching to the choir: Most people wouldn’t print an email these days. The message might actually be counterproductive, taking up space and energy itself.
  • The bigger culprit: The environmental cost of emails lies not in printing, but in data storage and transmission. Servers require a lot of energy to run, and every email we send contributes to that footprint.
  • A drop in the bucket: Focusing on individual printing habits ignores the larger issue of email volume. Reducing unnecessary emails can have a much bigger impact.

What Can We Do Better?

  • Think before you send: Does this information need to be emailed, or could it be shared another way, like a cloud storage platform?
  • Ditch the attachments: Can the information be conveyed in the body of the email, or linked to a smaller file?
  • Unsubscribe ruthlessly: Cut down on the amount of email you receive by unsubscribing from unwanted lists.
  • Spread awareness: Encourage colleagues and friends to adopt smarter emailing habits.

The Takeaway:

“Consider the environment” signatures are well-meaning, but they address a minor aspect of the problem. By focusing on reducing the number and size of emails we send, we can make a real difference in our digital footprint. Let’s work towards a more sustainable email culture, one thoughtful message at a time.

Why “please consider the environment” messages in emails are wrong

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