Join our Digital Spring Cleaning

Reduce your digital carbon footprint

A cleaner inbox for a cleaner planet

Did you know that digital technologies generate up to 4% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide? These emissions are caused by the production, distribution, charging, end of life, and general utilization of ICTs. That number could double by 2025, but it doesn’t have to. 

As part of our Earth Day campaign, the Broadband Commission is encouraging digital technology users to be mindful of their use of digital tools to lighten their carbon footprints. The sending of emails has environmental implications and can be equated to carbon emissions: 0.3 grams of CO2 for a spam email, 4g for a regular email, and 50g for an email with a photo attached. In addition to which, the storage of data requires an immense amount of electricity. Data is stored in “server farms” which account for 2% of global electricity demand themselves.

We have outlined a few simple steps to help users change their digital habits and clean their inboxes to do their part in reducing GHG emissions associated with ICTs. Our objective is to engage with Commissioners and the global broadband community to delete over 1 million emails this Earth Day, 22 April, and educate them on how to minimize their future digital impact from emails.

Step 1
Review your mailbox

Start your digital spring cleaning by revising your inbox.
  • Unsubscribe from unwanted mailing lists to limit incoming emails.
  • Delete your “spam/junk”. Check to make sure no desired emails have made it to this box.
  • Clear your “deleted emails” folder. Sometimes just deleting the first time isn’t enough! Emails can be moved to a deleted file instead.
  • Consider deleting obsolete emails in line with your organization’s policies.

Step 2
Minimize your future emails

Minimize your future emails by improving your habits and encouraging others to do the same.
  • Send fewer emails. Use “thank you in advance” instead of sending “thank you” emails.
  • Use receipt confirmations/read receipts to limit the need for follow-up messages.
  • Send fewer attachments and more shared links to shrink email size.
  • Limit the number of recipients by only cc-ing those that are essential.

Share your impact: How many emails did you delete?

Deleting emails is just a small step in reducing emissions, but every action matters. Let us know how many emails you deleted as part of your Digital Spring Cleaning!

Join the #DigitalSpringCleaning Challenge

Share your progress and inspire others to make a difference by using the hashtag #DigitalSpringCleaning on social media. Let’s work together to delete over 1 million emails and improve our digital practices!