As an environmental organisation we are always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint and tread more lightly on our planet.
So we were delighted when we hear about World Mailbox Cleaning Day!
To celebrate 50 years of Internet, and to raise awareness about the environmental challenges related to digitalisation, ITwillchange.org is inviting everybody to clean-up their mailboxes on the 21st of November.
Everyone is being asked to delete the maximum number of emails they can, and then log the number of emails deleted on www.mailday.org this will allow the nice people at ITwillchange.org to instantly calculate the effect that this has on carbon pollution.
Although emails have become an essential communication tool, the inconvenient truth is emails pollute.
From writing to sending to archiving every step requires electrical energy. In 2010, researcher Mike Berners-Lee estimated that sending one email resulted in the equivalent of 4 grams of CO2 being emitted.
In other words, driving 1 km by car and sending 30 emails would have the same impact
Knowing that 293 billion emails are sent out everyday, the worldwide yearly CO2e would equal 46905 Earth-Mars trips by car!
Emailing is only the tip of the iceberg
As we’re heading towards ever-growing digitalisation, the environmental impact of emails is only a drop in an ocean compared to streaming videos, posting on social networks and watching enchanting videos of cats!
The digital industry is consuming 5 to 10% of global electricity, and this is only set to increase.
As well as deleting old emails, to free up digital space and reduce the power demand of data centres, ITwillchange.org have produced a Best practice list for reducing the carbon pollution from emails…
- Regularly clean-up your mailbox
- Limit the attachments in number and size
- Avoid multiple recipients
- Unsubscribe from newsletters
- Send an SMS rather than an email for short messages
- Get rid of email notifications
- Lighten your signature
- Archive your emails locally
- Send emails in a text format rather than HTML
- Limit spam
- Remember that the greenest email is the one you never sent out
And of course remember that after measuring and reducing you can always plant a tree!