Well-intentioned email taglines inspired by sincere desire to help the planet have become ubiquitous in recent times: “Please don’t print this email,” “Save trees: Print only when necessary,” or “Please consider the environment before printing this email.”
This tact is sure to frustrate and increase inefficiency, leaving some saying, “Wait a minute, I really needed to print that document!” What many folks don’t realize is that it also may indirectly hasten the conversion of forests to other uses like strip malls, parking lots and housing developments—because the nation’s forest landowners can’t keep growing trees without markets for this natural, organic and renewable product.
My new email tagline, which I copied from Tree farmer Chuck Owen, reads: “Notice: It’s OK to print this email. Paper is a biodegradable, renewable, sustainable product made from trees. Growing and harvesting trees provides jobs for millions of Americans. Working forests are good for the environment and provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage. Thanks to improved forest management, we have more trees in America today than we had 100 years ago.“