Emails not so environmentally-friendly

Unnecessary emails contributing to carbon footprint

You would think email would be an environmentally-friendly way to communicate.

There’s no paper involved. No stamps. No ink.

But wait, a survey for British Energy Company – OVO Energy – found if we each sent one less email a day it would save 16,433 tons of carbon generated by the high-powered email servers needed to send your electronic correspondence.

That’s the equivalent of taking 3,334 diesel cars off the road.

According to the research, more than 64 million “unnecessary emails” are sent every day in the UK, contributing to 23,475 tons of carbon a year to its footprint.

The top 10 most “unnecessary” emails include: “Thank you,” “Thanks,” “Have a good weekend,” “Received,” “Appreciated,” “Have a good evening,” “Did you get/see this,” “Cheers,” “You too,” and “LOL”.

Researchers admit while the carbon footprint of an email isn’t huge, the study is a great illustration of the broader principle that cutting the waste out of our lives is good for our well-being and good for the environment.

“Every time we take a small step towards changing our behaviour, be that sending fewer emails or carrying a reusable coffee cup, we need to treat it as a reminder to ourselves and others that we care even more about the really big carbon decisions,” said Mike Berners-Lee, a professor at Lancaster University in Lancashire, England.

banner image via Flickr