I’VE GOT A “MARCH MADNESS” CONFESSION TO MAKE: I’m doing pretty poorly with my first-round Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament choices (the eponymous bracketology in action here); as I write, I’m a paltry 15 and 8, and the day’s not done yet. Plus, my alma mater’s out again in the first round: SDSU falling to Tennessee 62-59 in a Midwest Regional rumble (Pete Thamel described the game as “low on aesthetics and high on missed shots” in The New York Times).

That said, and with scribble-scrabbled brackets flying madly about and determined bracketologists of all stripes filling out and updating their nope, nope, you’re wrong, this is the way it’s gonna be! brackets in sports bars, cafes, restaurants, waiting rooms, on public transportation, in the office, at home and abroad, what better time to consider ecologically sound printing, especially when it comes to such ephemeral, utilitarian uses.

Your best bet, of course, is to forego printing entirely and do it all electronically, on your computer or smart phone/handheld device—yep, there are numerous apps for that! (And I’m hoping Apple’s iPad, if and when widely adopted, can also help a great deal in this print-free, paper-saving realm—plus give journalism, and the quality writers who work in that realm, a boost. Go iPad, go!)

But if you opt for print, perhaps consider yourself strictly old school and want to have that physical piece—a bit tattered, torn and pilsner stained—one you can lord over friends and, well, hoopster frenemies, consider an environmentally friendly font that uses less ink. Case in point: the Ecofont. What the Ecofont lacks in creativity when it comes to its name it makes up for in its simple design: small holes in each letter, which don’t detract from readability; and it’s also sans serif, which means less whorls and curlicues that look nice but require more ink to adorn the page. The Ecofont typeface is open source and free to download and use. Free fonts, not all of them necessarily eco, are also available at ECO Fonts. It’s a little thing, unquestionably, but when applied in volume can make a big difference.

A couple of other tools to consider are PrintWhatYouLike, which helps you optimize a webpage for printing (so you don’t print all that extraneous junk, which can go on for pages!), and Greenprint, freeware which again helps optimize for printing but also works well with non-webpage sources. I also recommend you make smart paper choices; see our Green Dynamind post, “For (All) the Trees: The Forest Stewardship Council,” for more information.

And as for “ecological bracketology,” I’ve got Kansas winning it all this year, on the court and on my laptop + handheld device.

Allen