Your inbox is a threat to the planet

Indeed, everything you do on the internet has its consequences. Far be it from us to lecture you. This article is simply to alert you to the (unintended) effects of email use. Especially when the number of emails sent around the world is in the billions…

 

All emails become unwanted junk that cause damage

How can cities be more safer? Can employees save time enough while using the least amount of effort? How can we lead the least advantaged toward more autonomy?

There are so many questions that new technologies and artificial intelligence attempt to answer on a daily basis. However, the question of the impact that our consumption has on the environment is often much less addressed. And it’s all about consumption in this case.

Who would have believed that this new method of communication, otherwise known as email, could be so harmful? However…according to a 2014 study by ADEME (the Environmental and Energy Management Agency):

Sending 33 1MB emails to two recipients per day per person each year generates emissions equivalent to 180 kilograms of CO2.

Additionally, the agency estimates that for a company employing 100 people, the number of emails sent each year are as polluting as 14 round trips between Paris and New York. This toxicity is explained by the fact that sending and storing an email requires going through several data centers which are extremely energy-intensive.

 

Sending emails is okay, but saving them is NOT okay!

You have a choice: you can delete your emails yourself in order to free up space in the data center.

This suggestion, of course, has little impact if you’re the only one doing it, but raising awareness regarding our digital energy-consumption habits is necessary. It’s the same as recycling: everyone working together can change the world. Ecology requires education.

Second solution: you can call upon a specialized company.

In one hour, more than 10 billion emails are sent around the world, which is the equivalent of 4,000 tons of oil.

One email alone generates nearly 10g of C02 each year. This is, at any rate, what Cleanfox, an automatic unsubscribing service for newsletters, concludes. This is a solution that’s been found to prevent the proliferation of bad habits, as the processing of newsletters remains problematic. Though necessary for promoting e-commerce sales, they’re cumbersome for prospects/customers who, if they’re not deleted, tend to let them accumulate in the spam folder. Cleanfox estimates that only 10% of newsletters are opened.

 

How many of you regularly empty your spam folders?

According to Statista, we can expect a significant increase of more than 50 billion in the sending and receiving of e-mails within the next four years. We can all probably agree that email is now the preferred method of correspondence. And we know that people favor this method for its speed, accessibility and most likely also the fact that it’s free. It’s an accepted truth: email has now officially replaced letters. But we can only wonder if letters were less polluting…

 

To read: Cyber security doesn’t take vacation: our recommendations