Home  › Email › Email Marketing

Green Up Your E-mail

  |  July 9, 2008   |  Comments

Three ways to make e-mail more environmentally friendly.

Of all your B2B marketing efforts, e-mail seemingly has the least environmental impact.

But sending all those messages electronically hasn't led to a paperless office. The more we use computers and printers, the more paper and energy we consume. How many times each day do you print an e-mail to read later offline or to keep a paper copy "just in case?"

Most people assume global warming is caused by burning oil and gas. In fact, between 25 and 30 percent of the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere each year -- 1.6 billion tons -- are caused by deforestation.

When you add the gas and oil we use by running computers to read e-mail -- and to check it constantly on our BlackBerry devices -- you can see that e-mail isn't all that environmentally benign.

With Earth Day coming up on Sunday, here are some ways to make your e-mail a little greener.

  • Print less with GreenPrint: When you print e-mail and Web pages, there's usually one useless sheet at the end, the one with the unsubscribe message, your e-mail provider's logo, legal disclaimers, etc.

    You can eliminate printing unnecessary pages by installing GreenPrint. The software previews the document and highlights potentially unnecessary pages for removal. If you agree a page isn't needed, it won't be printed. It works with Word or any other program.

    Walter Mossberg favorably reviewed GreenPrint in the "Wall Street Journal,", and Gartner named it a Cool Vendor, quite a coup for a new company.

    GreenPrint provides reports on how much ink, paper, and money you save. In the few months I've used GreenPrint, I saved 127 sheets of paper (worth $3.17), and $4.45 worth of ink, according to the report. Not a huge savings, but for large users, the amount can be substantial.
  • Unplug your BlackBerry: Checking e-mail from a BlackBerry seems environmentally neutral, as no paper's involved. But did you know chargers for BlackBerry, cell phone, and handheld games can consume 10 percent of the electricity in your house?

    I discovered this while working on the Polar Bear S.O.S. campaign for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Polar bears were one of the first major species to be victims of global warming. In reading about their plight and wondering what the average person could do, a light bulb went off in my head (compact fluorescent, of course!). The idea is stickers to put on your chargers with the words, "Unplug for Polar Bears." You can order these free stickers online. While there, consider making a donation!
  • Recycle old electronics: Consumer electronics products contain thousands of substances, some of which are hazardous to human and environmental health. If old equipment isn't properly recycled, they can seep into air, soil, and water. Everyone should make an effort to learn more about how to recycle her devices.

    And if you happen to live near my hometown of Brooklyn, you can recycle your electronics this Saturday, April 21 at the Park Slope Eco Fair. I'm not ready to recycle my BlackBerry yet, but I just packed up an old color printer to bring over. Perhaps I'll see you there.

Know of other ways to make B2B e-mail practices greener? Send them to Karen.

Karen is off this week. Today's column ran earlier on ClickZ.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Sept 5 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen Gedney

Karen Gedney, an award-winning creative director and copywriter, shared her insights as a ClickZ Experts contributor from 2000 through 2009. She was known for her successful track record of achieving high e-mail response rates for Fortune 1000 companies and leading organizations. She died Nov. 16, 2010.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Email newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

Resources

Jobs

    • Digital Marketing Analyst
      Digital Marketing Analyst (GovLoop) - Washington D.C.Are you passionate about audience acquisition? Love effective copy and amazingly effective...
    • Product Specialist
      Product Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreDescription: The Product Specialist is hyper-focused on the customer experience and ensures that our...
    • Partnerships Senior Coordinator
      Partnerships Senior Coordinator (Zappos.com, Inc.) - Las VegasZappos IP, Inc. is looking for a Partnerships Senior Coordinator! Why join us? Our...