Marketing emails are polluting inboxes — and the environment, according to a study by Cleanfox.
Last year, the average UK resident was barraged with 4,250 promotional emails. And 3,357 were never opened.
The newsletters received by one UK resident alone generated an annual carbon footprint of 33kg per person, the equivalent of 275 km in a car. And the overall carbon footprint is 33kg per person, which equates to 275 km in a car.
The biggest problem on the consumer side is Generation X. These readers had 5,155 unopened newsletters in 2020, equating to 430 km in a car. And women received 1,476 more newsletters than men.
Roughly 3.5 million emails were sent every second in 2020 creating a carbon footprint of 10g per email, the study concludes.
However, this is not the first time the issue has been raised In 2017, French regulators asked companies to “cut back on email in order to save energy,” Hayley Tsukayama wrote in The Washington Post.
Tsukayama continued that “the average spam email has a footprint equivalent to 0.3 g of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e),” as alleged in a 2010 book: “How Bad are Bananas: The Carbon Footprint of Everything" by Mike Berners-Lee.
The Cleanfox study suggests that if all UK residents deleted unwanted emails, they would stop 2 million tons of CO2 emissions from spewing into the environment per year.
It is not clear how this would be accomplished, but the savings would be the equivalent of the pollution generated by a city of 370,000 inhabitants, or a round-trip flight London and Istanbul.
Of course, Cleanfox is an inbox cleaning service.