National No-Print Day: Will You Take the Pledge?

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Toshiba, which sells a wide variety of printers, copiers, scanners, and fax devices, is asking you to use less paper. It's even sponsoring National No-Print Day on October 23, 2012, when it hopes the paperless office becomes a reality--if only for a day.

Wait, isn't this sort of like Hewlett-Packard sponsoring National Third-Party Ink Day? The irony of a printer manufacturer asking people to print less isn't lost on Toshiba, which addresses this issue on its National No-Print Day site:

(Cue sappy music.)

"We're people. People who breathe the same air, swim in the same water, and play fetch in the same parks as everyone else. We're people who recognize the earth is an irreplaceable asset."

The National No-Print Day site features a short video starring "Tree," a bearded cubicle-dweller in a tree suit who works diligently to persuade (nag) his colleagues to save paper. He takes a break on National No-Print Day, using the day off to skateboard, shoot hoops, and have pillow fights with scantily-clad women.

Cynics may see National No-Print Day as a cheap publicity grab for Toshiba, but perhaps the bogus event is worth honoring just the same. The company lists some sobering statistics that illustrate our paper-wasting ways: The average office worker uses more than 10,000 pages of copy paper every year and--even worse--wastes over 1,400 prints annually, the equivalent of 1.2 trees.

"We know that approximately 336,000,000 sheets of paper are wasted daily -- that's more than 40,000 trees discarded every day in America. We as individuals and companies are failing to make the link between printing waste and its negative impacts on our landfills, natural resources and the environment," said Toshiba America executive Bill Melo, in a statement.

Toshiba promises to plant a lot of trees--some 1.5 million by 2025--if you take the following pledge:

"Being of sound ink and toner, I honor the sacrifices made by Tree and his leafy colleagues, and do hereby give them the day off on National No Print Day, the 23rd day of October, 2012, a day on which I will steadfastly refrain from printing, copying, and otherwise causing hardworking trees to lose their pulp."

Will you take the pledge?

Contact Jeff Bertolucci at Today@PCWorld, Twitter (@jbertolucci) or

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