Deciding when and whether to print just got a lot easier, thanks to the release today of a new infographic — Pixel and Print Logic — from Natural Logic, Domtar Paper and the Institute of Sustainable Communication.
We’ve all seen that little message at the bottom of emails — saying, in effect, “you’re a bad, thoughtless person if you even think about printing this email.” It’s not that simple of course. Paper can bring real environmental concerns — deforestation, soil loss, water impacts, growing waste streams — but so can use of digital technologies — carbon emissions (from the energy to run servers, printers, PCs, smartphones, etc), conflict minerals, e-waste, etc. Each resource can be produced and managed in better and worse ways. And each has its place in an environmentally smart information strategy.
So what’s a thoughtful, responsible information hound to do? You can’t conduct a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) every time you need to decide. But you can use this simple, light-hearted flow chart – inspired by the legendary What Beer Should I Drink flowchart (and based on Natural Logic’s analysis of more than 70 LCAs for Hewlett-Packard) – to help you print responsibly.

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