Its Green Office Week this week and stopping email overload is one way to make a very significant contribution to reducing your carbon foot print.
|Green Email Usage|
If your office and desk space was awash with papers you wouldn’t just go and ask for a new desk/larger office. You would be forced to clear up. Yet with email most people tend to ignore the warnings about mailbox sizes. Old emails are simply moved to another destination (for Outlook users often a pst file) and the inbox allowed to overflow again.
Unlike paper we can not see our emails, but make no mistake the more emails the more energy needed to process them. Even if you opt for email archiving to reduce the storage requirements, servers and energy is still needed to process them.
The main suppliers of email like Google, Microsoft and BT all promote large inboxes as an advantage. In my book this is amoral as it increases our carbon foot print and encourgaes email overload. It’s akin to the banks lending to people who could not aford to repay the loan. Instead of promoting bloated inboxes, responsible email providers should be promoting and rewarding those who downsize and maintain small sustainable inboxes.
Many business are now downsizing their office space to reduce overheads and be more sustainable. We should be doing the same with email to reduce our carbon foot prints. For example, reduce the volume of traffic through our inbox by reducing the number of emails chains, better email etiquette, sharing rather than sending the complete file.
During the week I will tweet more tips on how going green can also help you stop email overload.