I just got an email from Recyclebank proclaiming April as Earth Month. I am sort of a “go green” person, although not to any extreme. I just find it interesting that, what used to be Earth Day, April 22nd, is now Earth Month. Oh, and by the way, in March we all turned our lights off for “Earth Hour”. This is actually pretty exciting – shining a light (no pun intended) on Mother Earth.
So, just to jump on the bandwagon, let’s throw email into the mix. It’s interesting that we, as a society, at one time thought that things like email and the internet would render paper, at least in the office, to be obsolete. But according to statistics gathered by InfoTrends, a research firm that specializes in digital imaging and document management, government offices used, in 2011, a total of 122 billion sheets of paper, or an amount equal to 400 sheets (almost a one ream package) for every person in the United States. That doesn’t even include paper used by the rest of us. On a different level, statistics from the American Forest and Paper Association show that the average American uses more than 748 pounds of paper per year.
Email marketing, and even email in general, has the potential to change some of these statistics for the good. The organization Think Before Printing has a little tag line on their website that you can add to any email signature – I just added it to mine. If we can resist the urge to print things that we can read online, we’ll save thousands of trees.
When the Chinese invented paper a few centuries ago, it was one of the big inventions of modern times. Marco Polo brought it to Europe and, well, the rest is history. I look around my office – not just sheets of paper, but post-its, a candy wrapper, paper napkins and tissues and – wow – business cards, and lots of them! I admit, I can’t live without paper is some form.
I haven’t decided yet how I will celebrate Earth Day – maybe I’ll send an email or two, and have a bit of cake. As you ponder Earth Day, or month, or whatever portion of time you are allotting for a celebration of “the big blue marble”, remember how efficient email marketing can be. It’s not only fabulous at getting your message out, but it’s way better for the environment!