Digital Cleaning (E-mail Cleaning)

2 min readJun 8, 2022

Carbon footprint refers to the total of greenhouse gases emitted by an individual, a country, or an organization as a result of their actions. There are many factors that increase the carbon footprint and therefore harm the nature.

We think of garbage thrown to the ground, cutting trees, and polluted water when we think of elements that hurt nature in general. However, most people are unaware of another element that significantly increases carbon emissions and requires attention: email cleaning.

Today, more than 80% of the world’s e-mail traffic consists of unsolicited e-mails (spams), such as cheap drugs, service promotions, and unauthorized advertisements. According to a study, spam, which irritates Internet users, also poses a threat to the environment.

Research by McAfee, a software and Internet security organization, the annual cost of transmitting spam is 33 billion kilowatt-hours. This amount is the same as the amount of electricity used by 2.1 million houses in the United States.

For every 1 GB of stored e-mail, 30 Kwh of energy is consumed every year. This is the equivalent of 1.5 months of use of a 25-watt energy-saving light bulb.

Anneli Ohvril, one of the organizers of the Digital Cleanup Day project, explained, “If every adult in the UK does not send a ‘thank you’ reply to emails, we can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 16,000 tons per year. This equates to 81,000 flights between London and Madrid.

Because of the electricity used to store e-mail, every e-mail has a carbon dioxide (CO2) charge on the planet. Accordingly:

One spam email is 0.3 grams.

A standard e-mail is 4 grams.

E-mail attachments containing PDF and link attachments emit 50 grams of CO2.

The world could save 9,035 metric tons of carbon dioxide if everyone deletes their ten emails. This figure equals the quantity of carbon dioxide released when 19,356 tons of coal are burned.

To reduce the carbon emission generated by e-mail: Unsubscribe from unread e-newsletters, remove undesired, read, or spam emails on a regular basis, and do not sign up for unread e-bulletins are all options for individuals and businesses.

Thus, we can save the world from tons of carbon dioxide load for the future. While sitting at the table, we may have cleaned the carbon dioxide that 2 trees cleaned in 10 years in half an hour. We should make this digital cleaning, which is extremely simple and has a significant impact on nature, a daily routine in order to protect our future, and we should be mindful of it.