The Carbon Footprint of Your Email Attachment

Mike Berners-Lee, whose brother Tim invented the world wide web, has written a book quantiyfing the carbon footprint of just about everything, including email. According to Berners-Lee, the average year of email in an inbox equals the same CO2 emissions as driving 200 miles in a car. A large attachment is equivalent to 50g of CO2e, creating a compelling reason to stop cc'ing people who do are not directly relevant to a conversation. Facebook, which relies principally on coal to fuel its data centers, nevertheless has a significantly smaller carbon footprint than Google, where every month user searches generate 260,000 kg of CO2 emissions.

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