Spam Overload

Spam Overload

22 October, 2014
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Why Spam Email Is Awful For the Environment

A single spam email on its own may not pose an obvious threat to the environment, but if you add up the trillions sent around the world each day and think about the carbon footprint of that each year, the impact is substantial.
Spam email has over the years become a personal nuisance for most of us. It is a daily productivity drain to some, and a disaster waiting to happen for an extremely gullible minority of us ("Congratulations, you just won a million dollars" and "Please help donate to this charity..."). The reasons to dislike spam seem to only grow in number as technology evolves, but as technology evolves, spam interchangeably becomes easier to ignore.
But just because it is easier to ignore doesn’t mean the damages aren't being done.
WebpageFX, which claims to have calculated the carbon footprint of the world’s spamming activities in 2010, presented those findings.
The effect that spam has on the environment is definitely not that of the world’s vehicle emissions nor even that waste produced by a small city, “but the 95 trillion spam emails sent in 2010 caused an impact equivalent to driving a car around the world 200 million times."
McAfee also conducted a study on the effects of the spam emailing industry on pollution levels. The conclusion? “Over 33 billion kilowatt-hours (KWh) of electricity are used globally each year as a result of spam.” According to McAfee’s numbers, this is equivalent to the electricity usage of 2.4 million homes in the US, and equals the GHG emissions of 3.1 million passenger cars. “Not a small amount.”
While junk mail has significantly taken a plunge over the years after the public has realized that the damages outnumber the benefits by a lot. But taking to the internet where the havoc wreaked is often times "out of sight, out of mind", here’s (yet) another factor to take in to contribute to “living green” in today’s energy-conscious world. Keep your spam filters up to date, and avoid spamming your contact list with unnecessary junk mail.

By: Ecozine Staff


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