“Thanks!” “Lol!” “You’re welcome!” British officials are suggesting that you skip the pleasantries over email, because extra emails increase carbon emissions, The Financial Times reports.
Britons send over 64 million superfluous emails every day, according to a study by Ovo Energy titled “Think Before You Thank.” Emails require the consumption of electricity by devices, networks, and data centers. The study found that if every person in the U.K. sent one fewer email a day, carbon output would drop by 16,433 tons per year. This is in some ways small change, given that tech data centers create about 0.1% of the world’s carbon footprint, while cars create around 20%. But at this stage in the climate change crisis, small change matters.
Brits have reason to focus: The U.K. is hosting the next climate change summit UN COP26, and will need to promote innovative, actionable ways to reduce emissions. The Ovo study found that most unnecessary emails are non-actionable, and often one-liners. The top unnecessary emails say:
- Thank you
- Have a good weekend
- Have a good evening
- Did you get/see this?
- You too
To help you stop sending these non-actionable monstrosities, last year Ovo released the Carbon Capper, a Chrome extension that alerts you each time you hit send on an email with under four words.