Less Email you send per day reduces CO2 emissions (a bit)

An overcrowded mailbox, half of which is unanswered: it is no longer something to be ashamed of. On the contrary, because one e-mail less per day reduces CO2 emissions. Some keep it to a drop on a hot plate. Either way, you will save energy.

Most people think of the internet as a fluffy cloud floating between us. When you send an e-mail, it goes through the cloud woops to the recipient’s inbox. Just a little too good to be true. Because instead of a trip through a cloud, your mail awaits a journey through energy-consuming electronics.

The itinerary

Via a network of fiber-optic cables, mails go around the world. Between your mailbox and that of your receiver, it makes a stop in a data center where all kinds of data are sent, processed, stored, and analyzed.

Data centers not only consume a lot of energy, they also have incredible emissions. In addition, e-mails can be consulted 24/7, which means that the servers remain active and consume energy non-stop.

All this ensures that the virtual e-mail also emits CO2. In a recent report, the Financial Times stated that if every Briton sent one less e-mail a day, it would save 16,433 tonnes of CO2. An amount equivalent to tens of thousands of air journeys to Europe.

Drop on a hot plate

The impact of one less e-mail seems enormous, even if it remains a drop on a hot plate. Knowing that some countries emit tonnes of CO2 per year, for example, the UK emits some 435.2 million a year; it would not even be a saving of half a percent.

There are still a few comments to make. CO2 emissions were calculated on the basis of the full consumption of all kinds of devices that would continue to run even without e-mail traffic, think of your computer or your Wi-Fi router. As a result, despite the reduced volume of e-mails, the wider network would still consume almost as much energy as before. One less e-mail would save less than a gram of CO2.

Save (your) energy

Fortunately, for those who are demotivated by this poor result, there are still alternatives that you can do from behind your screen to save the environment. For example, make more use of your hard drive as storage space instead of the cloud or limit your streaming video hours. Because these services also contribute to CO2 emissions.

The planet’s energy savings may seem minimal, but don’t forget that an e-mail less also saves your energy. Don’t worry about that e-mail you lost track of. Only send e-mails when you feel that it benefits both you and your recipient. If not? Leave it and save a lot of time in addition to energy.

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