Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

Have you been seeing these little things in the footer of emails recently too?

How it is made:
(copy this and remove spaces between brackets)

P Please consider the environment before printing this email.

Here's the thing though, I haven't printed an email since 1997. Not printing papers doesn't do much at all as an active environmentalist act. So I have another question for you email-green-peeps; What type of electricity do you use? Are your computers on at all times? Is your companies server hosted in the cheapest possible colocation space, where you're probably using un-eco friendly electricity 24/7 all year, or have you found a green alternative? Adland is hosted at memset, a carbon neutral company, because - duh - I actually think about these things and worry about my carbon footprint which includes worrying about this servers impact on our environment. I guess what I'm saying is, next time you sent one of those silly little things out in your email, consider what that email travels through. Being green isn't only about saving paper.

And to make matters worse, this thing always creates a page 2 when printing that email. Aaaarrrghhh.

Comments (15)

  • wisdumb's picture

    I don't understand the snarkiness in your post. Of course using less electricity is a good thing, but that is no reason to knock an awareness campaign. Maybe a majority of e-mails don't get printed anyway, but many might and if this little message at the bottom saves a few sheets a paper, why not? Also, more importantly, it serves to remind people about the issue. However, bragging about your server and pointing fingers at others doesn't help the cause... and btw, following your logic, how many non-carbon neutral servers are involved in the chain of servers that deliver your hosted page to your readers? Are all the embedded videos on your page coming from carbon-neutral servers? Would a 'Hypocrite - thy names is Adland' bumper sticker printed on 100% post-consumer product help you to play nice?

    May 22, 2008
  • Dabitch's picture

    "Hypocrite", really ? No, wait, really, did you seriously just go there, or are you poking as much fun as I am? I mean, that escalated quickly.

    Cliff notes on what I dislike about this "awareness campaign": I think wasting extra bytes in email only serve to make you feel better, and if you care one iota about the environment you should try actually doing something instead. That's really all I wanted anyone to take from that. Like I said, there's more to being green than just saving paper. (p.s. The embedded vidoes on my pages are on my carbon neutral server. Hence mentioning it.)

    But hey, if people want to easy way out - join the campaign! It's easy, all you have to do is use webdings in your email (and here we'll work on the assumption that everyone has webdings font and a mailreader that cares to parse HTML). Stick this in your signature file:


    Please consider the environment before printing this email.

    a whole lot of crap about henna, lima beans and my efforts to leave a small carbon footprint deleted as I realize it doesn't help explain the missed tone in my original post.

    * fixed the code line for Andreas-Udd. I don't know why my < code > tag is cranky with me today. But the idea os to use wingdings for this signature.

    May 22, 2008
  • Andreas-Udd's picture

    Another irony is that the extra line in these emails often cause the printer to require a second piece of paper for it. It's an annoying and pointless "campaign".

    Your show and tell of the code is screwed up though, just one long line.

    May 23, 2008
  • TDD's picture

    Not printing an email is so much easier than going out and planting trees to reforest an area; however, the latter accomplishes something, the former does not. Like many 'awareness campaigns' this one implies something that just isn't true: the forests are in danger of disappearing due to our use of paper. "Please consider the environment before printing this email" is a solution need of a problem.

    Some Canadian forest industry facts:

    - Canada is the world's leading producer and exporter of newsprint
    - Canada is the world's largest exporter of wood pulp
    - Canada exports more than 80% of its printing and writing paper production
    - By law, all forests harvested on Canada's public lands must be replaced
    - Foresters replace harvested areas using either natural or artificial regeneration
    - The United States is by far the largest buyer of Canadian forest products
    - Canada has 10% of the world's forests
    - Canada has 402.1 million hectares of wooded lands
    - Wooded land represents 41.1% of Canada's total surface area
    - Annually, Canada harvests 0.3% of its commercial forest area
    - In 2003, an estimated 378 746 hectares were planted
    - In 2003, an estimated 17 651 hectares were seeded
    - In 2004, Canada was the world's largest forest-product exporter

    Sustainable Forest Management in Canada

    Jun 02, 2008
  • Dabitch's picture

    I just got an email with the sigfile;

    CarbonFriendly company

    We are committed to enhancing the environment so THINK BEFORE YOU PRINT this email. Maybe make a paper airplane? Or an origami tyrannosaurus rex...that takes a lot of thinking.

    Jul 01, 2008
  • TDD's picture

    Carbon friendly company?! What the hell is that supposed to mean? Do these people even know what carbon is?

    I received my telephone bill from Bell Canada today. This is printed on the back of the envelope:

    "Hey, didn't Bell change it's logo?"
    You're right, we did. But since part of making today better means not wasting paper, we're using up the old stationary first. (Help save even more trees; sign up for paperless billing at

    Also on the back of the envelope is a "FSC logo that states:

    Mixed Sources. Envelope and invoice paper from well managed forests and other controlled sources.

    Great Zeus! When will this environmental non-think end?! As I have pointed out previously, Canada's forest are some of the world's best managed and maintained. We are not running out of trees! This Bell Canada message is misleading at best, fraud at worst.

    Here an idea! How about promoting email bills to save money in mailing and printing costs? Savings that can be passed on to the customer? Or maybe they blew those savings already in costs for a new logo? Drop the environmental bullshit if you want to keep me as a customer!

    Sep 24, 2008
  • Dabitch's picture

    That last one I got was obviously mocking the think before you print sigfiles. ;) Make an origami tyrannosaurus rex? Ha!

    Sep 24, 2008
  • Sprinkler Buff's picture
    Sprinkler Buff (not verified)

    I think the point of those posts is just to get people to at least try to do their part. Not everybody is going to go to the extreme and make sure they're hosted through a green friendly company. Sometimes its better to do a little than not to do any at all. I would rather people not print the paper and use electricity and all that than print the paper AND use electricity, a bad server, etc. Wouldn't you agree?

    Jul 15, 2011
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    Oh Oh DABITCH, I saw your pics in your website. Sorry, but You are so ugly :P How can an ugly person be an artist and create beautiful arts? Use the SIG file and do not paint much walls.

    Jun 30, 2012
  • Dabitch's picture

    Right, Mr Anonymouscoward IP, I'm sure mouthy unmarried redheads aren't high up on the beauty standard list in the Emirates and I don't give a shit what you fucking think about my appearance, sorry.

    Dec 10, 2012
  • fairuse's picture

    Why did I let the sociopathic PETA shit lead me here? Oh yeah, PETA is listed; eco-terrorism. All I can say about the save the trees signature scam is that it must be a recruitment tactic; need to resupply the eco-terrorist ranks. A gullibility test? Maybe.

    Seems the e-mail sig topic is bait for other extremists. Mr.Anon*, or as I should say the late Mr.Anon*, didn't see that coming.

    Dec 21, 2012
  • Dabitch's picture

    This is just such a waste of paper.

    Feb 17, 2013
  • AI's picture
    AI (not verified)

    Yes true, this is waste of paper indeed but one should always select the text for printing rather than just press the print button and let all of it to print.... Think.....

    Feb 23, 2013

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about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.