The other day, I received my second unwanted fax from a broadcast advertiser. In my post, “How to Stop Unwanted Faxes,” I gave you the keys on how to stop these faxes from showing up in your fax tray. But as I thought about it more and more, was faxing just plain bad for the environment?
This thought about the environmental impact of faxing did not just come out of the blue. (Although many of my thoughts do.) The unwanted fax that I received had a unsubscribe address, National Do Not Fax (also know as “Stop Junk Faxes”) which promoted e-faxing in the name of the environment. Of course, it was linked to an e-fax website, MyFax, with starting costs at $10 a month/$110 per year for 100 sending faxes and 200 receiving faxes. (Prices varied based upon the amount of faxes sent and received. )
But I was intrigued with their green argument of why you should use an e-fax site from both a financial and environmental standpoint. They argued e-faxing
- Saves money (no toner cartridges, paper, and phone lines and charges)
- Portable (can receive and send fax anywhere)
- No need to buy additional equipment (or for that matter recycle anything any more)
- Upgrade to electronic communication
The more I thought about it, faxing was not very green even if your recipients use recycled paper.
If you are like me, I barely fax any documents. I email everything unless a signature is need or I have to send a hard copy which was not in my computer. For someone like me who faxes very seldom, GotFreeFax service might be your best bet. It starting cost is .$.98 per fax for 10 pages .
But if you do fax, the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has the following suggestions besides sending and receiving faxes from your computer:
“Program your fax machine not to print confirmation sheets.
Eliminate fax cover sheets by using fax Post-it Notes.”
So, I am curious.
- Would an e-fax service be valuable to you given its environmental and budgetary preferences? If so, which service do you use and why?
- Do you see faxing as being ungreen?
- Do you fax via your computer? If so, which program do you use?
- How do you send signed documents? What software do you use?
If you don’t want to leave a comment, please take the poll on the sidebar. I would love to know your thoughts.