Occasionally, I receive email with footers containing admonitions along the lines of “Big changes start with little steps: don’t print every email” or “Think of the environment—please don’t print this email out” or “Think twice whether it’s really necessary before printing this email out”.
It makes me wonder how effective those are.
For starters, I wonder how many people actually do print out every email they receive. I know I certainly don’t, and I think most of my colleagues don’t, either. I do print out the occasional email, but comparatively few.
And on the other hand, people who really do print all of them out (rather than just “many” of them or even “most” of them)—I imagine that for them, it’s part of their workflow and they aren’t going to scale down merely because a tagline in an email requests them to do so. (For starters, how should they decide which emails to refrain from printing out? “All of them” takes a lot less deciding power than “certain of them (identified by which criteria?)”.)