‘Green’ Email Footers

Source: Two Sides Australia 30/08/2016

Sick of seeing ‘Think before you print’ email footers?

It has become common practice to see emails with footer messages such as ‘Do you really need to print this email? it will harm the environment,’ or ‘Think before you print.’ These messages, although attempting to promote positive environmental behaviour, often ignore the unique sustainability of print on paper and should be questioned.

Paper is made from wood; a renewable resource. In fact, most of Australia’s wood (82%) is harvested from planted forests and harvesting from native forests in Australia is NOT for the pulp and paper industry but for the timber industry to build homes, commercial buildings and general consumption products. Therefore, print and paper can often be a great way to communicate and, when responsibly sourced and recycled, is environmentally sustainable.

These common email footers assume that electronic communication always has less effect on the environment than printed materials.

Below are some facts that are often overlooked:

  • A regular e-mail emits 4 grams of CO2e. An electronic attachment (invoice/letter/statement) sent via the internet releases 50 grams of CO2e.
  • A year of incoming e-mail for a typical business user adds up to 135 kg of CO2e per year. This is equivalent to driving about 520 kilometres in an average car.
  • A remarkable 78% of all incoming emails are spam. Around 62 trillion spam messages are sent every year, requiring the use of 33bn kilowatt hours (KWh) of electricity and causing around 20 million tonnes of CO2e per year. This is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from over 4 million cars driving on the road for one year.
  • The average Australian generates nearly 20kgs of e-waste every year.
  • A letter made from recycled material and recycled after use creates 140g of CO2e. That looks like carbon savings (compared to 4g of CO2e from one email) unless you end up sending 35 times more e-mails (without attachments!) than the number of letters you would have posted in the days gone by. Lots of people do! This is a great example of the rebound effect, something that is low carbon actually results in higher-carbon simply because we use it more.
  • In Australia 87% of paper products are recovered and paper can be recycled 7 times.

So, if you need a convenient and permanent copy of emails, don’t feel guilty about printing but please ensure you recycle.

5 Fun Facts About Printing

Let’s face it. Computers and the internet are here to stay. But where does that leave print? With everything online and our environment in turmoil, do we really need paper? Do we really need printing services? Despite what some people may think, the printing industry is thriving. After a slump in the mid-2000s, printing has had a resurgence in more recent years and printing is bigger business than the automotive and video game industries. To celebrate print’s comeback (because who doesn’t love an underdog), here are five things you never knew about the printing industry:

1. Printing was actually invented by the Chinese, not Johannes Gutenberg
We all know that Gutenberg invented the printing press but he didn’t invent printing. Over 500 years before Gutenberg was able to mass produce books with his revolutionary machine, Chinese monks were using wooden blocks dipped in ink and pressing them on parchment to create text.

2. The Chinese also invented business cards
Business cards are one of the print industry’s most common products. In the 1400s, the Chinese began using their version of a business card. These cards were not used for commercial purposes so were seen as calling cards, used to announce a meeting with another person.

3. Only a convict knew how to use Australia’s first printing press
Australia got its first printing press when a small hand press was brought over with the First Fleet in 1788, but no one knew how to use it. Between 1795 and 1880, a convict named George Hughes taught himself how to use the press and was commissioned by New South Wales governor John Hunter to print orders and regulations.

4. Paper production is actually good for the environment
Over its life cycle, paper provides environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting and maintaining public health, welfare and the environment. This means that paper is one of only a few truly sustainable products in the world.

5. Print is an effective advertising medium

A study by TRU, a division of TNS Research Global, entitled “Millennial Paper Usage and Attitudes” found that compared to digital, print advertising was seen as official, trustworthy and secure.

The Benefits of Marketing with Postcards

Simple yet powerful, the humble post card can be used to convey an enormous amount of branding information. Aside from this, the post card is an ideal print marketing tool for smaller businesses and start-ups as they are economic to print and can be used for a wide variety of purposes. This week, we look at the key benefits of marketing with postcards.

Versatile
Postcards lend themselves to a range of different marketing applications. They can be used as a branding exercise both in the mail and in-store, as a special offer voucher, as an invitation, as an oversized business card, as a miniature information sheet or even as a tag for products.

Lots of creative license
Anything goes when it comes to commercial post card design really and it’s a great opportunity to get creative with the philosophy of your brand. Visual metaphors, puns, cartoons, artwork, photography and even recipes are all examples of some of the creative ways postcards can be used not only as a branding tool, but as an aesthetically pleasing, humorous or practical piece of paper ephemera that consumers will want to keep around or display.

Cost effective
As they are just a single piece of card and relatively small, postcards, even full colour designs are fairly cost effective to print as they have no folding or finishing charges and cost very little to post. The low cost of postcards make it viable for smaller companies to run more frequent and larger scale campaigns to keep customers interested.

High readership
Because they don’t come wrapped or enclosed, postcards are almost always read by consumers as the message is so readily available. On study suggests that 80% of postcards sent to households are read and more than half of those recipients will be driven to making a purchasing decision as a result of receiving the postcard.