Initially popular among a green activists, the "please don't print this e-mail" signature has become a viral marketing phenomenon. Born in an age of on-the-spot information and quick communication, the socially responsible end-note is gaining popularity in the cubicle armies of corporate America, as the Los Angeles Times put it.
The L.A. Times traces the phenomenon's origin to a 135-word Treehugger blog post that eight months ago asked readers to add this short line to their automatic e-mail signatures: Save trees. Print Only When Necessary.
E-mail has yet to produce the fabled "paperless office" that computing power pundits promised (According to GreenPrint Technologies, Americans use enough paper every year to build a 10-foot-high wall that would stretch from New York to Tokyo) but it's easy enough to trim your paper waistline.
Just add your variation of the following eco-tip to your e-mail signature: "Printing emails is wasteful. Save trees and make this message go viral instead."
Or, for a simpler call to action, just say: "Please don't print!"
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