Sunday, 28 March 2010

Green IT - change font

The University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, has come up with a novel way of making its IT greener (and also shrinking its budget).  The suggestion was made to use a font that consumes less ink and toner, which is exactly what they’ve done.  The default font for Outlook across campus was changed to Century Gothic.

The University maintains that Century Gothic uses 30% less ink than Arial, the most commonly used default font.  Ink costs the university around $10,000 a gallon, with toner cartridges and drums not far behind, and accounts for 60% of the cost of the printed page, so it’s potentially a significant saving across a university campus.

This is a great example of using the default option as a means to nudge people towards greener behaviour.  There’s no force involved - the University made it clear that users can change back to a different default font if you wish. 

Arguably you shouldn’t be printing out emails anyway, but there are always some that you need to take with you.  In any case, the university is also encourage everyone to switch to Century Gothic as their default font in Entourage for Macintosh, Word, and Excel (not something that could easily be implemented universally).

If you want to go even further, there are even specially designed green fonts (with holes in!), but the beauty of the University of Wisconsin’s approach is that it’s so simple.

© The Green IT Review

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