Smaller Fonts Save Trees – The Minus One Project

minus one project font save treesA bit ridiculous? Change your font size by one point and save trees…? 

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 –

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.

eco font how it works minus one fontThis 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

About Linda Pappagallo

Linda's love for nature started when at the age of eight she discovered, with her dog, a magical river in the valley of a mountainous region in Lebanon. For four years Linda and her dog explored along the river, until one day she saw construction scrapers pushing rock boulders down the valley to make way for new construction sites. The rubble came crashing into the river destroying her little paradise, and her pathetic reaction was to shout at the mechanic monsters. Of course that was not enough to stop the destructive processes.As she continued to observe severe environmental degradation across the different places she lived in the Middle East and Africa, these terrible images remained impressed in her mind.However, environmental issues where not her first love. Her initial academic and career choices veered towards sustainable economic development, with particular interest in savings led microfinance schemes.Nevertheless, through experience, she soon realized a seemingly obvious but undervalued concept. While humans can somewhat defend themselves from the greed of other humans, nature cannot. Also nature, the environment, is the main “system” that humans depend on, not economics.These conclusions changed her path and she is now studying a Masters in International Affairs with a concentration in Energy and the Environment in New York. Her interests lie on ecosystems management: that is how to preserve the integrity of an Ecosystem while allowing for sustainable economic development, in particular in the Middle East and Africa.

One thought on “Smaller Fonts Save Trees – The Minus One Project”

  1. Hi,

    Amazing facts, also people should correspondence through emails by this we can control on wastage of papers. I will surely share this post on my blog so more and more people can understand this fact and start following and saving our precious natural resources.


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