Your pointless emails are aren’t just boring people — they are ruining the environment.
Sending email has such a high carbon footprint that just cutting out a single email a day — such as ones that simply say “LOL” — could have the same effect as removing thousands of cars from the street, according to a new study of habits in the UK.
The study, commissioned by OVO Energy, England’s leading energy supply company, used the UK as a case study and found that one less “thank you” email a day would cut 16,433 tons of carbon caused by the high-energy servers used to send the online messages.
That’s the equivalent of 81,152 flights to Madrid or taking 3,334 diesel cars off the road, the research said.
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,” according to the study.
OVO Energy is now calling for tech-savvy folks to “think before you thank” in order to save more than 16,433 tons of carbon per year.
The research revealed that 71 percent of Brits wouldn’t mind not receiving a “thank you” email “if they knew it was for the benefit of the environment and helping to combat the climate crisis.”
A total of 87 percent of the UK “would be happy to reduce their email traffic to help support the same cause,” according to the study.
One of the researchers, Mike Berners-Lee, a professor at Lancaster University in Lancashire, England, said in a statement: “Whilst the carbon footprint of an email isn’t huge, it’s a great illustration of the broader principle that cutting the waste out of our lives is good for our wellbeing and good for the environment.”
“Every time we take a small step towards changing our behavior, 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,” Berners-Lee said..
Comment: I kept pinching myself reading this article, sure that it must be satire from the Onion or Babylon Bee. But no, it is published without tongue in cheek at NY Post, not unsually prone to political correctness. Your emails are ruining the environment: study
If this is what passes for news, especially in a journal that is willing to question conventional thinking, how can we create anything more preposterous to make fun of it? I am dumbfounded.
Footnote: I hope tweets are alright.
When someone says (and they will), “O.K. Boomer,” your response can be, “O.K. Junior, or should I say O.K. Young Whippersnapper (Google it).”
I tried to find the study itself but had no luck. Did find this from one of the authors:
Berners-Lee admits the numbers are “crude estimates”, but says they are a useful way of making a general point. “When we take a small action to cut carbon,” he says, “it’s a message to yourself that you care about the climate emergency.”
I am betting crude does not begin to describe the numbers. How could you possibly attribute one email power use at your home much less through all the computers and physical links of the internet without simply guessing.
Agreed Roger. All things considered, I’d rather take the plane to Madrid a few times.
This sounds like another scam to take control of our lives. It is getting worse by the day. Maybe we should put the lights out, move back to caves and just sit in the sun, until the CO2 balance is correct.
Yes, these micro intrusions are unrelenting and depressing. I am reminded of this:
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Well, OVO got their press coverage so job done.