Another interesting aspect is related to the carbon footprints of spam mails. A McAfee study says that the mere act of people around the world deleting spam and searching for legitimate email falsely labelled as junk creates the annual energy consumption equivalent in the US of 2.4 mn homes using electricity, with the same GHG emissions as 3.1 mn passenger cars using 2 bn gallons of gasoline.
The average greenhouse gas emission associated with one spam message is 0.3 grams of CO2, about the same as driving three feet in equivalent emissions. When multiplied by the 62 tn spam emails sent globally, that is like driving around the earth 1.6 mn times! So just think how green is your inbox.
Even the storage of emails contributes to environmental hazard, warns writer and environmental activist Sami Grover. Retained data means storage space used; storage space used means energy consumed; and this means nothing but carbon emission!
Our drawing room is also not that green either. An average television or computer running for eight hours per day generates 618 lbs of CO2 annually. And for a laptop this is 77 lbs.
The concept of long lasting is a pass for the modern-day man, who is turning away from the earthly feelings. We have no prick of conscience in changing the gadgets like soiled clothes! But again we feign ignorance about one thing our contribution to e-waste. The problem of e-waste management warrants greater attention. Unlike the organic waste, e-waste doesn’t decompose and the hazards thereof are beyond our imagination.
A major concern is that developing countries are falling victims of this e-waste threat. According to the UN Environment Program (UNEP), up to 50 mn tonnes of waste from discarded electronic goods is generated annually, with the majority being shipped from the west to developing nations.
PC maker, Dell, recently announced its strong stand against e-waste export. Nokia’s recycling program is also worth mentioning here.
And, interestingly, though we are all concerned about the R-word that made the world economy make a nosedive, statistics show a shade of green in the environmental front. A study from America says that ever since the global economic meltdown began, energy-related CO2 emissions in the US declined by 2.8% in 2008. The Energy Information Administration estimates this as the largest annual drop since the US government began recording the data in 1990.
So, should we say a green cheers to the economic meltdown that saves Mother Earth from the dangerous global warming?