Monday, April 22, 2013

April 2013 Observations - Please consider the environment...

By Jim Lyons

The "Please Consider the Environment Before Printing" message seems ever more popular in 2013
Happy Earth Day 2013!

Covering the printing and imaging industry via this Blog for the past seven-and-counting years has led to a number of "green" or environmentally-themed posts.  So today, in addition to wishing my readers a happy 2013 Earth Day, I had some fun looking back on those Observations columns and updating them for the current times.

One of my favorites came in 2008 when I did a little research on a new message which was starting to show up on the bottom of certain emails I was receiving. It was “Please Consider the Environment Before Printing” (or some variation), with or without a green-tree graphic. I did some basic research (see below) and found it was quite popular on Google, with just under 1,000 hits for the complete (and in quotes) phrase, "Please Consider the Environment before Printing this Email".

Two years ago, I updated those numbers (see "April Observations: Print More E-mails – Save the Earth") as well as took on a different angle linking green and printing - that being the idea that selective printing was actually GOOD for the environment, as managed forests producing paper could only remain and prosper if there was demand for print, and paper. The post was based on a Wall Street Journal editorial, and the work by the organizations in question goes on today. But the related research I did showed that our phrase in question, "Please Consider the Environment before Printing this Email", then generated nearly a half-million hits, a 500x increase over three years.

Today, tracking that search data (and as the illustration shows at the top of the piece), we have seen another increase, to 2.5 million hits for the phrase. Impressive growth to say the least, in these times of printing and paper usage being threatened from all sides. With so much email (speaking from my own day-to-day experiences) being generated and consumed via mobile devices, it is amazing to think back to office workers who would routinely print each and every email they received!


I feel I need to address two points for clarification, for my readers. My March Observations (see "Looking Back on the Future of Printing") promised a follow-up in April. Due to the upcoming Earth Day theme, I should have realized I'd really be updating in May, so stay tuned - I have some great stuff on the current state of printing the news (and other content).

And also, after 88 monthly "Observations" columns appearing elsewhere (beginning with the beloved but now extinct Hard Copy Observer), as well as right here at Jim Lyons Observations, I am going it alone for now. But stay tuned on this one also - for a new place to find it in the coming months. And as always, you can find it, along with other (non-monthly?) Observations, right here.

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