Choose a different font to go green

With cost-cutting all the rage and “in this economy” becoming the year’s catchphrase, the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay recently made a forehead-slappingly obvious call to save a few bucks.

It switched the default font on its e-mail system from Arial to Century Gothic – a basic change that could save thousands of dollars in printer ink.

TCU should consider a similar change. After all, how often do you worry about what font you’re reading?

The chancellor of UWGB, Thomas Harden, said his university goes through roughly $100,000 worth of toner per year. That’s on a campus of about 6,500 students. TCU has nearly 9,000 students. One would assume most college students print roughly the same amount of material. If that’s true, TCU may be spending as much as $125,000 per year on toner.

That money could be better used on, say, absolutely anything, than wasted on a page that will be thrown away. Even if it only amounts to a couple thousand dollars per year, I’d rather have that money offered to me in gift card form for answering a survey I didn’t really read from the university.

A minor change like the default Microsoft Office and Exchange font setting on our campus would make a big difference environmentally, as well as with this university’s bottom line.

The only downside is that Century Gothic is slightly larger than most “standard” fonts, so it will use more paper over time. But paper isn’t $30 per cartridge, and nobody is really going to miss that tenth of a page on a 20-page term paper.

Century Gothic uses 30 percent less ink than the Arial format that was previously used at UWGB. A biology professor at that university led the charge after reading up on “ecofonts,” which don’t fill in every character solid, but instead have lots of tiny circles filling the void. Century Gothic was even more efficient than the ecofonts. You lose again, Al Gore.

Unless we’re moving to Wingdings, would anyone object to this? Whether the public relations reasoning is to “go green” or “save green,” let’s put an easy one in the win column. Switch to Century Gothic.

Josh Davis is a news-editorial journalism major from Dallas.