Environmental Impact Of Emails: How Bad Is Email For The Environment?

The progress and development of technology and digitalization in today’s era are remarkable. Technology has made it extremely easy to reach out to people just with a single click.  Text messages, WhatsApp, Instagram DMs, and emails are some of the most people platforms on which we connect with people. But have we ever considered the impact of these day-to-day activities on the environment? Have we ever considered the environmental impact of emails? 

Emails is a free to use service.

A study by the carbon footprint expert Mike Barners-Lee in his book “How bad are bananas: The carbon footprint of everything,” says that an average spam email has a carbon footprint equal to 0.3 grams of carbon dioxide emissions. The book also mentions that a normal email has a carbon footprint of 4 grams of CO2 emissions. An email with a long attachment can have up to 50 grams of carbon emission. According to his research, a typical year of incoming and outgoing emails adds approximately up to 300 pounds of emissions to a person’s carbon footprint. It is equivalent to driving a car for an average of 200 miles.   

Another study by an energy company OVO reckons that Britan sends more than 64 million unnecessary emails every day, and if every adult in the UK sends one less “thank you” email a day, we can save more than 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year. This amount is equivalent to taking approximately 3334 diesel cars off the road. 

Both studies show us how much power we have in our hands to contribute to reducing carbon emissions. Since emails are a free service, we exploit it to the maximum without evening thinking about the environmental impact of emails. Other than spamming our inboxes, unnecessary emails have a negative impact on the environment, as proved.

Several spam emails are sent and received everyday.

Now, we cannot completely stop sending emails since a majority of individuals, firms, etc. are dependent on the convenience brought by emails. But we can make emails an environment-friendly option of communication by reducing the unnecessary usage of them. We can consciously stop sending unnecessary replies and thank you. Firms and enterprises can rely on and focus on other forms of advertisements instead of email- marketing. These small actions will make a gradual difference in building a sustainable environment. It will also encourage us and give us solace that we are contributing to reducing the carbon footprint and protecting the constantly depreciating environment. Henceforth calculate your actions and send out your emails consciously!

Also Read: Recycling Symbols: How To Identify And What Do They Mean

Himani Naik

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