Did you knew that when you send an email or receive newsletters, you are polluting? Yes an act that seems as innocent than sending an email pollutes. Indeed, it has some environmental impact associated with the data transmission and storage processes. 

Of course, no need to blame yourself, for an individual email the carbon footprint is relatively small, BUT the cumulative effect of millions of emails and newsletters being sent worldwide can have a significant environmental impact.

Some explanations regarding the environmental impact of email and newsletters- why does it pollutes? :

  1. Energy Consumption: Email and newsletters require energy to transmit, store, and process data. This energy is primarily consumed by data centers, servers, and network infrastructure. The energy used is often derived from non-renewable sources like fossil fuels, contributing to carbon emissions.
  2. Data Centers: Emails and newsletters are stored and processed in data centers that require continuous power supply and cooling systems. Data centers consume a significant amount of energy, and their carbon footprint depends on factors such as energy efficiency, cooling systems, and the use of renewable energy sources.
  3. Internet Infrastructure: The internet infrastructure, including routers, switches, and other networking equipment, requires electricity to function. This infrastructure also contributes to the overall energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with email and newsletter communications.
  4. File Size and Attachments: The size of the email and any attachments can impact the carbon footprint. Larger files require more data to be transmitted and stored, leading to increased energy consumption and emissions.

For example: If you send a 1 MB email with a file attachment, it may generate approximately 20 grams of carbon emissions. It seems small but considering that there is around 347 BILLIONS emails sent per day at the end of the day it results a significant cumulative carbon footprint.


SO WHAT CAN WE DO?

  1. DECLUTER your mail box : Honestly do you really need to keep this email of your flight from 2016? Just click delete! We talk a lot about decluterring our home, time to do it for your emails.
  2. Unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters: Reduce the number of newsletters you receive to reduce data transmission and storage requirements... and honestly are you even reading them?! ;) or just stop giving your email when you register somewhere.
  3. Minimize file sizes: Compress files or use file formats that require less storage and bandwidth.
  4. Optimize email content: Keep emails concise and avoid unnecessary large images or attachments.
  5. Use energy-efficient data centers: Choose email service providers and newsletter platforms that prioritise renewable energy and energy-efficient infrastructure (EDCH for example).

Some companies offer to offset your email carbon footprint but I am not a fan, it is rarely well done, and too often it is a way to dust the problem below the carpet.

So are you ready for some serious email decluterring?


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