It’s called the Minus One Project, and it is a very neat example of a practical project with one very specific objective: it encourage offices, schools, homes and everyone else to lower their font by one size before printing. Maybe not the perfect idea for minimizing fonts on phone books, and good thing for the planet that we already have electronic phone books – YP.com.
But the Minus One Project offers a new idea. Set up by Vishal Sagar from Cheil, an advertising company in India, it is now being adopted as a green initiative by Samsung. Sagar believes that this is a small step (hoho) towards conserving one of the world’s valuable resources: forests and saving paper.
Indeed, forests now cover around 31 percent of the globe, are called “home” for 300 million people, provide a living for 1.6 billion people and contain 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. If lowering the font by one size means you can help save an average of 18% on paper, then this seems like a worthy movement.
In fact paper usage has become a pressing issue, according to Sagar” “In the last 40 years, paper consumption in the world has grown by a staggering 400%.”
You would think that the switch from using type writers, fax machines and mail towards digital media and computers should have reduced paper usage, but in fact there has been a surprising increase in consumption of paper.
In the Middle East, the UAE has among the highest consumption per capita of paper in the world despite having one of the highest usage of electronic pads in the region.
Another ingenious idea is Ecofont. This software enables you to save up to 50% on ink and toner when printing by leaving small holes in the letter.
This way you not only save money (toner costs $10,000 a gallon) but you also save on plastic and the chemicals used to make the ink.
I like this sort of news because it shows that we are starting to think about ways to change the current system in a way that consumption can be reduced without necessarily forgoing certain activities. These ideas tend to sell well.
And teachers, here’s a teaching kit to share at school to spread the message further.
Image Bifur Font – AJM Cassandre – 1929 via The Invisible Agent