Friday, March 23, 2012

Progeny vs. Paper

I just received a mass e-mail at work announcing a birth. One of my co-workers just gave birth to a healthy 7-pound baby boy. The person who sent the e-mail is the secretary-supervisor in my part of the firm, and she sent it using her work account. She’s kind of a grandmother figure around the office, and on her office door are photos of everyone’s children and grandchildren, so she gets a kick out of being the one to announce every new birth.

She also likes to urge people not to waste resources, so every e-mail she sends, including this one, comes with an automated tagline at the bottom that reads:

“Please consider the impact to the environment before printing this email.”

Think about that. It’s a BIRTH announcement, asking ME to consider MY impact on the environment….

This seemed quite ridiculous to me, celebrating the entrance of one more person into the world and reminding me not to harm the environment by printing out an e-mail. The real damage at birth is the printing out of the e-mail? Perhaps she should have sent the same kind of message to my coworker when she announced that she was pregnant:  Please consider the impact to the environment before reproducing.

I wasn’t going to print it out anyway, but I think I get a little slack here. Being childfree is a massive carbon offset that I plan to take advantage of. I think if I get a vasectomy I should be able to print as many copies as I want....


  1. Hey Temujin

    Here's what I think you should do. Print out the email she sent you. Circle the line about considering the environment, and then attach a good article about the negative impact of reproducing on the environment.

    Leave it on her desk anonymously and you'll create a real stir.

    (I know, I am evil)!!!

  2. That staff member has since retired, though her bulletin board with everyone's baby and grandbaby is still up and running. Not to feel left out, a few people put up photos of their pets, and in one case a photo of one of their chickens. I'm thinking I'll put on the board a copy of my post-vasectomy test results. If I could only get a photo of the microscope image to put up there....