Yvonnick Frin

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Save the planet, clean your mailbox

July 30, 2019

Every day we receive and send dozens of emails. Emails are intangible things, we tend to forget that datacenters and servers are needed to have access to our mailboxes 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Mike Berners-Lee wrote a book about carbon footprint of everyday products called “How bad are bananas? The carbon footprint of everything”. He estimates the carbon footprint of an email to 4 grams of CO2 which is about 130 kg per person per year. To make it more meaningful, it is equivalent to 1000 kilometers driven by car.

To reduce our carbon footprint let’s clean our mailboxes! I did it yesterday and removed about 40 000 emails (my mailbox is aged of ten years). There are tools to help you removing emails and unsubscribe newsletters (only 10% of newsletters are opened) such as cleanfox (they also plant trees in Zambia to reduce their own carbon footprint). For those using Gmail there are also tips to remove easily your old emails like older_than filter.

Do you have other tech tips to reduce our personal carbon footprint ?


Yvonnick Frin
Open source advocate at @ZenikaIT.
I'm a @NantesJS co-organizer on my spare time.

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