Emails and the Environment

Posted by Hillary Miller on

In this modern world it’s difficult to escape the need for emails.  How many do you get a day and how many of these do you actually need?

Every email we send, receive or store requires energy and the larger the email the more energy needed.  Because emails are not a tangible object in our “paperless society” we can be forgiven for thinking there is no waste involved and no environmental impact. Unfortuantly that’s not the case.  Every single email is stored on servers around the world which require huge amounts of energy to function.

Ovo Energy did some research into this in 2019 and their findings were staggering.  They identified:

“That each UK adult sending just one less email a day would reduce our carbon output by over 16,433 tonnes a year – the equivalent of 81,152 flights to Madrid or taking 3,334 diesel cars off the road”

The good news – there’s some really easy things we can do to reduce our impact:

  • Stop saying thank you – !!! ??? OK, OK! so this idea might seem a little crazy, especially with our inherent British politeness. But all those “Thank you”, “Cheers” and “Thumbs up” emails add up to carbon emissions.
  • Unsubscribe – we all get spammed by emails we don’t want.
  • Delete – regularly empty your junk and deleted item folders.
  • Clear out – do you still need an email about something you bought three years ago?
  • Limit social media notifications – why do you need a message to say you’ve got a message?
  • Reduce the size of your attachments – bigger is not always better.

We really can make a difference to our carbon footprint with these simple suggestions.  Clearing out the rubbish isn’t just a physical thing.


Photo Credit: Norwood Themes Unsplash

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