Stopping Spam = Huge Benefit to Environment

Wednesday, 15 September 2010   |   Creative Thinking

Want to do something great for the environment,  and great for society at the same time?

Here are some interesting facts.

There are an estimated 247 billion e-mails sent every day.

Of this,  an estimated 97% are spam.

This number is staggering.  My immediate thought was,  how many person hours are wasted dealing with spam.  Then it occurred to me.

How much electricity could we save if we eliminated this clog in the system.

Think of all the systems that we have in place to detect and stop spam.  Of all the email servers that have to be beefier to handle the load. Of all the networking equipment sending all this junk all over the world. And on and on.

It seems like a minor inconvenience to most but it is actually leading to a huge increase in energy requirements.  (Some spammers would have you believe it leads to a huge increase in something else but we won't go there.) It appears to me that solving this problem could have a much bigger positive impact on the environment than a lot of other activities we are currently undertaking (not that I'm suggesting we stop doing them but I think this needs more attention).

Let's get our creative thinking hats on and really tackle this problem.  If you were tasked with stopping spam,  how would you do it?

If we could stop that pesky spam,  how could we reuse all the resources to better effect?