Hidden Pollution In The Digital World

Hidden Pollution In The Digital World

Did you know that every time you send an email, it leaves a carbon footprint? That's right, despite being efficient and convenient, emails have a significant environmental impact. In fact, the average person receives 100 emails per day and sends out 40, contributing to the ever-growing carbon footprint.

How do emails pollute?

How do emails pollute? | El Green Mall

It all comes down to energy consumption. When you hit 'send' on an email, it has to travel through several different servers before it reaches its destination, which requires a lot of energy. Moreover, cloud storage, where emails are often stored, requires a significant amount of electricity, which is still mostly generated by fossil fuels, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

According to Eco2 Greetings, an average year of emailing emits about 136 kilograms of CO2e, which is equivalent to driving 320 kilometers in a gas-powered car. Imagine the collective impact of billions of emails sent every day!

But it's not all doom and gloom. There are steps you can take to reduce your email-related emissions. One way is to ensure that your spam folder is deleted regularly, and you can do a cleaning of your General Folder at least once a year. According to The Good Planet, deleting just ten junk emails can save 1.725.000 gigabytes of storage space and around 55.2 million kilowatts of power.

How Much Electricity Do Emails Use?

How Much Electricity Do Emails Use? | El Green Mall

The size of the email and whether you're sending or receiving it affect its electricity usage. Longer emails with many attachments use more electricity than shorter ones. And, sending an email uses more power than receiving one. To put it in perspective, a single 10KB email uses up to 0.074 microwatts of electricity, while a 500KB email uses up to 3.7 microwatts. With over 333.2 billion emails sent daily, this energy consumption adds up quickly.

Here are some practical steps you can take to reduce the amount of electricity your emails use:

  • Unsubscribe from emails you don't need or want to reduce the number of unnecessary emails you open and delete, which consume even more electricity.
  • Regularly delete spam and junk emails to reduce storage space and save energy.
  • Close your email client or browser window when you're not using it to prevent it from running in the background and consuming energy.

In conclusion, emails may seem harmless, but they're one of the surprising polluters in your inbox. By taking a few simple steps, we can reduce the carbon footprint of our emails and make a positive impact on the environment.

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