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The (almost) genius new WWF file format

The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) noticed a problem: People love to print stuff out.

So, they came up with a pretty simple solution. They created a new file format called the WWF. It’s more or less a glorified PDF that cannot be printed. Problem solved, right? I don’t think so.

I love the World Wildlife Foundation. They do great work. I also love saving paper. But this an absolutely asinine idea.

Short term, this will probably result in a few less pieces of paper being printed. But long term, you’re not actually changing people’s behavior at the root-level. Just like litter laws don’t stop people from littering, this won’t stop people from printing.

What’s more, the WWF completely ignores the drastic increase in carbon emissions that the explosion of digital data has created. Electronic files require electronic storage. And right now, most electricity generation results in greenhouse gases.

I like choice. I rarely print out emails and ebooks. But sometimes I do.

I like the feel of paper. I want something that I can read without booting up my computer or iPhone. I want to physically give it to someone. Whatever the case, I don’t think anyone has the right to stop me from printing it.

Good intention, WWF, but horrible idea.


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Have any questions or comments about this post? Email me at chris@gomakethings.com or contact me on Twitter at @ChrisFerdinandi.

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