Wednesday, 16 February 2011

WWF - The New Green File Format

The WWF have just launched a new file format designed to make us really think about the documents that we create that need to ever be printed. Let's think for a second. How many documents that we create and share actually ever need to be printed and kept?

Since studying at Aberdeen University, I have found that I have paused for thought much more often as my mouse pointer hovers over the print icon. Mainly this is due to the charge of 5p per print. However, part of this is also due to my acknowledgement of the amount of paper wasted every day.

As readers of the blog will know, this is the second time I have undertaken a teacher training course due to the GTC Scotland's list of unacceptable ITT qualifications. This is the second time I have begun to amass a huge collection of documents and evidence to justify my application to the General Teaching Council. I often wonder, how much could have been presented digitally?

I'm due to fly to London soon and in true student fashion, I have booked a low cost airline and take my luggage allowance in my own hands, literally! But when the computer tells me to print my receipt, does that mean on paper? Do I really need to hand the staff at the boarding gate a crumpled piece of paper to scan? No. I have a crystal clear colour screen on my mobile phone, scan that.

The wwf format is a print option much like printing to PDF. However, unlike PDFs which can be printed, there is simply no option to print a wwf file. Therefore, you can be sure that your document will not end up in a recycle bin, or worse, and encourage an awareness of paper wastage. So at a time when we are concerned about the future of the UK's forests and when we are desperately looking for renewable energy sources, responsible use of paper should definitely be high on our agenda.

Note, at the time of writing this, the PDF viewer on the HTC Desire did not recognise the wwf file format.  However, I'm confident that there will be a solution in the apps market very soon. I'll update the post when I find one.

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