100 Day Challenge #56: Clean out your inbox

We love when people give us topic ideas to consider. That’s how we learned about this unexpected strategy to reduce CO2 emissions: deleting emails. We had never heard or thought about this before, and once we started digging a little deeper into the topic, we were blown away!


When we talk about our data being stored in the cloud, it conjures up the idea that information is passively floating around and can be called upon at any time. That “cloud” is actually a complex infrastructure of data centers that suck enormous amounts of electricity with significant environmental consequences.

In 2015 Orange, a French telecom company, started an e-cleaning days campaign. They wanted people to understand the environmental impact of their emails and to start deleting their excess emails. “Deleting unwanted email reduces energy consumption and indirectly lowers greenhouse gas emissions.”


We knew a hand-written letter on stationery used environmental resources, but we never thought about the environmental impact of emails. When we don’t delete our emails, more energy consuming servers are needed to save all that useless and unwanted data.


According to Orange,”if everyone in France deleted 50 of their obsolete emails, that would equate with turning off 2 million low-energy light-bulbs for an hour.” What an easy way to reduce our carbon footprint!


A few e-cleaning tips:

  • Make sure to delete the biggest emails with the largest attachments. They take the most energy to store.

  • Take yourself off email lists you don’t need and read. (That obviously doesn't apply to Mother Daughter Earth emails!)

  • Unsubscribe from email notifications, such as FaceBook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.

Today's topic reminded us that there's always more to learn about living sustainably. We need to keep pushing ourselves each day to question the status quo and work toward making intentional and eco-conscious choices in all aspects of our lives.


E-cleaning is the new spring cleaning! So start deleting those unwanted emails that are just cluttering your inbox, consuming electricity unnecessarily, and adding to our CO2 emissions.

Photo credits:

Cable network: photo by Taylor Vick on Unsplash

Electrical data center: photo by Akela999 from Pixabay

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