|Print Less Or ...|
Even Better: Not At All!
This turned out to be a pretty popular idea, and had a lot of advantages:
- Cost: It costs nothing to mail a PDF, whereas printing or copying would be something like a nickel a page. 20 copies of 140 pages added up to a lot of nickels better spent elsewhere.
- Distribution: It was trivial to distribute the handout in advance of the course, which let people get a sense of what it was about. A couple of people called in sick and I take some comfort in knowing that, at the least, they can read the material.
- Waste: Experience shows that most handouts end up bring thrown away or, at best, recycled, after being read possibly once. This seems wasteful. In addition, if we were furnishing hardcopies, we would have had to print extras in case of walk-ins.
- Time: The handout could be worked on until later in the process than would have been possible had we needed to print it.
- Utility: I found it a lot easier to search for things in the 140-page PDF than it would have been to leaf through
I'm posting this mostly because I'm proud of the success of the program, but also because this week's Change The World Wednesday Challenge is all about saving paper. Some of the ideas I'm not sure I could really get into writing about, but saving a few thousands of sheets of paper this weekend is something I'd like to spread around. Wouldn't it be wonderful if distributing handouts this way became the norm?