postheadericon SPAM & Your Carbon Footprint

Hard to believe but in addition to being a time consuming annoyance, the despicable SPAM also contributes significantly to your carbon footprint.  (Information provided by Green Irene)

How can I reduce the carbon footprint of my e-mail spam?

According to a recent report titled “The Carbon Footprint of E-mail Spam,” as the world filters out spam from its collective inboxes, and retrieves false positives from email junk bins, it wastes enough energy each year to power 2.4 million American homes and indirectly releases the same amount of greenhouse gas as cars burning two billion gallons of gasoline. A single spam message produces the equivalent of 0.3 grams of CO2, the same as driving three feet in a car. Multiply that by 62 trillion pieces of spam circling the globe each year, and you have the emissions equivalent of driving around the Earth 1.6 million times.

Eighty percent of this energy goes toward individuals cleaning out their inboxes. As they sift through junk mail, their computers and monitors keep sucking up power. Spam filters, on the other hand, only account for 16 percent of the energy total.

Reducing Spam

The report concludes that if everyone used effective email filtering it could “reduce today’s spam energy by approximately 75 percent…. That’s equivalent to taking 2.3 million cars off the road.”

While it’s impossible to get rid of all spam, you can make an effort to substantially reduce it by selecting messages that seem legitimate but you don’t really need because you’re not interested or don’t have time to look at. These may be newsletters, e-mail alerts, announcements, or messages from organizations or third-party companies of which you don’t have any interest. For these, you will need to open up the e-mail and go to the bottom of the message to see if there is an option to unsubscribe. If there is, then go ahead and unsubscribe to stop receiving messages from that source. When big-time spammer McColo was shut down, the energy saved “equated to taking 2.2 million cars off the road.” And that was only one spam ring. Imagine how much energy can be saved by further reducing spam.


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