I recently discovered that sending even a one-word email uses 4 grams of CO2 emissions. Further, storing emails uses energy. The accumulative effect is scary. Check it out. You’ll be blown away. I send many emails, and I let old ones pile up. I do try to unsubscribe, but it’s a never-ending chore. I can only take pride in not hitting Reply All merely to say “That’s great” or “Thanks” to the sender.
When I thought about the bigger picture of energy use I thought about all the other small energy usurpers. I take so long to drink my morning cup of coffee that I keep it on an individual coffee warmer. Then I routinely forget to turn it off along with lights around the house. I get up in the middle of the night, and I don’t need to turn on anything since tiny blue, white, and red lights guide me to the kitchen for a drink of water. Hard drives, speakers, electric clocks, Wi-Fi boosters, microwaves, stoves, sidewalk lights, and more all beam “We’re here.” At least I don’t use bitcoin, which uses an insane amount of energy.
It doesn’t matter that we have signed up for a 100% renewable electricity program or that sometimes we feed the grid from our solar panels. If we used less electiricity, we’d be able to feed more solar into the grid. We have a long way to go to be free of fossil fueled electricity. If everyone used less, the difference would be substantial.
Stay tuned to hear about a remarkably well-written book about climate change in my next blog. I’m only about 1/3 of the way through Under the Sky We Make—-How to be Human in a Warming World by Kimberly Nicholas. She manages to inject a bit of humor along with personal grief in the doom & gloom portion of the book and explains in concrete terms what we can expect depending on the actions we take.