Painted green

by Volker Weber

Jan sent me this mail footer:

Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to.

It's so easy to paint yourself green. Not that you are green, but it shows how much effort you are investing in appearing green.


Funny, i recieved an eMail from IWC this week with this footer:

"Nature's resources are not infinite. IWC requests that you print out this email ONLY if necessary."

So green eMail seems to be a new trend!

Franz Mattes, 2008-02-16

This is what PG put in their footer:

P Go Green, Keep it on screen - think before you print

Frank Mueller, 2008-02-16

Well there's a statment in the bleeding obvious! Why else would you print an email?

People strive so hard to appear to be something!

Simon Barratt, 2008-02-16

asking somebody *else* to do or not do something is the easiest way to impose a mindset, right? It´s always *them* who should change their ways, not oneself.

Armin Roth, 2008-02-16

I have an in-box full of these things. It irritated me so much that I adapted it as one of the rotating tag lines that appear at the head of my blog.

Don't print this blog unless you really need to.

Aside: I keep getting asked to address conferences on green computing. This seems to be a hot topic all of a sudden.

Chris Linfoot, 2008-02-16

And if you do print the mail (not that it is any business to the sender), you waste even more resources (ink/toner and paper) because of the additional footer.

Those things irritate me no end: some of them end up showing as "P Please don't ..." because the first "P" is a Wingdings font that is supposed to look like a tree.

Jan-Piet Mens, 2008-02-17

To me it always appears as some kind of modern bigottery that exists just to make the sender happy. As if not printing any particular e-mail would change anything, given the fact that e.g. serious newspapers are half an inch thick, not really read by half of their buyers, but printed anew every day - on a very different scale.

Martin Böhm, 2008-02-17

"It's not easy being green"
-- Kermit The Frog

Bob Balaban, 2008-02-17

1) Who would print the email if they didn't need to?

2) Add an extra line of text to several billion emails. Then add in the extra storage required for that in bytes. Then add on the extra backup resources required for that. Then add in the chemicals required to produce the backup media and the power to run them.

This tag line is actually INCREASING polution in the environment.

Ben Rose, 2008-02-17

Well, I am sorry, but I disagree.

I had a boss once who was very old-school: He had his secretary print out every email he received, place them in a pile on his desk, and he would go over them with a pen, sign the note, then pass back the pile to his secretary so that she could type the answers back.

He would also then keep those paper copies in folders in his office.

It used to hurt so much - I just wanted to stand on his desk and shout out "You aren't supposed to *do* that with email!!!!"

In other words: the reminder is not for the computer-savvy, and as such is useful - but not recognisably so for us.

Andrew Magerman, 2008-02-17

@Andrew - I had that same boss. He retired. Aren't they all gone the same way now?

Chris Linfoot, 2008-02-17

Besides do you really think the secretary will not print the mail because of the footer? That would be a bad career move on her part ;-)

Vince Schuurman, 2008-02-17

@ Chris: believe me, there are still many of those out there. I've seen too many mails printed out and filed in folders, that's the bigger nightmare than the occasional footer.

Philipp Sury, 2008-02-18

I'm with Vince, no amount of footers is going to stop the secretary printing them off.

We still have dinosaurs here, who refused to have their eyes tested, that run at 800x600

Ben Rose, 2008-02-18

I think Armin hit the nail on the head.

Volker Weber, 2008-02-18

Re: dinosaurs who refuse to have their eyes tested...
Some people need the big print. Their eyes have been tested and nothing can be done for them. You just need to accommodate them by designing so that the application works reasonably when the character size is a larger proportion of the screen size than it is on your machine.
I also think that having email printed out for processing isn't necessarily a sign of technophobia -- it's probably possible to get through their email a lot faster that way. To be sure, it's more work _overall_, but it's less work for the busy manager who can afford a full-time secretary.

Andre Guirard, 2008-02-18

Is there any evidence out there that such an e-mail footer makes any difference?

Saskia Traill, 2008-08-26

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