Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail?

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Surely you’ve seen this message, or something similar, in your inbox.   Usually it’s tucked in under the signature block from well meaning folks.  There’s actually a whole organization (thinkbeforeprinting.org) dedicated to increasing awareness and reminding folks that wasting paper, ink and toner doesn’t make economic or environmental sense.  They are not opposed to the printing of e-mails, they just want folks to think before they print.  Mostly I can get behind this concept, as I’ve seen my share of blank “page 2 of 2.”

Yet, this guilt laced directive, to think before printing, may be missing the point.  Or at least missing another perspective on the topic.

A column hit my inbox recently (Johnson’s World: Trees Love Paper) that caused me to seriously reconsider the issue.  After a bit of satire on our recent national elections, Mr. Johnson went on to make several points about paper in his column;

  • Paper is carbon locking, meaning that paper retains carbon dioxide, just as if it were still a tree.
  • The paper industry plants more trees than it harvests. Without paper, there would be fewer trees.
  • No virgin forests are used for papermaking.
  • Only one-third of paper is made from cutting trees. Another third is made from sawmill waste, and another third from recycled paper.
  • The manufacture and use of computers, e-readers, and mobile devices is damaging to the environment. Ditto for the Internet and cloud computing, which rely upon vast arrays of power-gulping servers.

The last entry is the real kicker.  Think about the rare earth minerals, heavy metals, petrochemicals, and other stuff that must be on some EPA list somewhere that abound in the computers and the digital devices we print from. What exactly was my concept of waste?  I do think it wasteful to print out pages of information I know I will never refer back to.  But I’m not out to save another tree from the paper mill.  As a veteran of the printing industry, I know that the paper industry is ever mindful of its resources and manages its “cash crop” just as any other farmer seeking a fruitful future would. There is even an organization promoting this effort; PrintGrowsTrees.org.

So, what’s worse for the earth?  I’m inclined to say the device you are reading this blog entry on!

Mr Johnson further writes about a Mr. Nathaniel Grant, CEO of G A M Printers in Sterling, VA, who includes the following statement with his email signature:

It is okay to print this email. Paper is a biodegradable, renewable, sustainable product made from trees. Growing and harvesting trees provides jobs for millions of men and women, and working forests are good for the environment, providing clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, and carbon storage. When you don’t need it anymore, be sure to put it in a bin designated for recycling and it will come back as new paper or cardboard.

As with most issues in life, it all depends on your prospective.

Now go ahead, print out this blog entry, pass it along and then recycle…

Shadow-Activated QR Code Actually Useful and Cool | Adweek

QR code only seen when shadows are just right

QR code only scans when shadows are just right

A marketing guru’s excuse to create a flash mob once a day when the sun is at just the right height and angle.  What surprises are in store when the QR code is scanned? Won’t that be fun to find out.

Read more…  Shadow-Activated QR Code Actually Useful and Cool | Adweek.

QR code on Budweiser packs lets drinkers ‘Track Your Bud’ | Packaging Digest

Bud LabelLeave it to Anheuser Busch to finally introduce the QR code to mainstream consumer marketing. If “born on dating” wasn’t enough for you and your Bud, now you can locate its birth place with your smart phone.  Picture, if you will, proud patrons discussing the genealogy of their latest down at the end of the bar…

“Budweiser, the iconic global beer brand, has introduced “Track Your Bud,” a digital campaign integrated with packaging that will allow consumers to trace the origins of the beer they hold in their hands to one of Budweiser’s 12 U.S. breweries.”

Read more at: QR code on Budweiser packs lets drinkers ‘Track Your Bud’ | Packaging Digest.

Marketing to Millennials: Mobilizing the Message – EContent Magazine

Millennial with smartphone

Another installment from an enlightening series about Digital Natives, a.k.a. Millennials, their habits and how best to market to them.

“For many people, digital natives in particular, mobile phones are considered as essential as an appendage. It is coming to light, however, that Millennials view their mobile phones as more of an entertainment device, while older cell phone users still see mobile devices primarily as a tool that blends work and personal communication…”

Marketing to Millennials: Mobilizing the Message – EContent Magazine.

Marketing to Millennials: Brand Recognition – EContent Magazine

Millennial with smartphoneDigital natives are the next great wave of consumers.  What motivates them to buy?  What do they want to buy?  And how do they want to buy?  These questions should be keeping non-millennial marketing managers awake at night.  But relax, you are not alone.

“Millennials are the second-largest generation in U.S. history after the Baby Boomers. They are coming into their own and companies want to determine how best to market to them and generate sales from them.”  Read more…

Marketing to Millennials: Brand Recognition – EContent Magazine.