Stop Your Junkmail – Each American receives almost 560 pieces of junk mail per year and wastes about 8 hours per year dealing with it. The production and transport of junk mail consumes more energy than 2.8 million cars use every year, and annually, 100 million trees are used to make junk mail. Here are some ways to get rid of this incredibly wasteful annoyance:
DirectMail.com – free, quick way to get your name off commercial mailing lists.
MailStopper – paid service that stops your junk mail, and actively keeps you from getting back on mailing lists; promises to stop 90% of your junk mail in 90 days. Makes a great gift ($20/year).
Catalog Choice – free service that’ll get you on no-send lists to stop catalog spam.
OptOutPrescreen.com – opt out of preapproved credit card and insurance offers online or by phone: 1-888-5-OPTOUT.
Once you’ve dealt with the junk mail in your mailbox, consider the other mail you get too. All of those junk e-mails that clutter up your inbox aren’t just a massive annoyance but a colossal waste of energy. According to a report released by computer security company McAfee, spammers last year generated a whopping 62 trillion junk e-mails.
What does that mean in terms of energy? Instead of sending messages asking for money or marketing Viagra, the electricity used sending the e-mails could have powered 2.4 million homes for a year or driven a car around the planet 1.6 times!
That waste of energy is also polluting the environment. Anything powered by electricity also emits greenhouse gases. McAfee researchers say spam-related emissions for all e-mail users around the world in 2008 totaled 17 million metric tons of CO2. That’s .2 percent of the total global emissions— for spam!
The report said that nearly 80 percent of the spam-related greenhouse gas emissions came from the energy burned by PC users viewing, deleting and searching for legitimate e-mail under mounds of junk. About 85 to 91 percent of all e-mail is spam, but you can decrease your spam load by surfing the Net with a bit more care.
For example, anytime you participate in online discussions or post comments, make sure your user name is nothing like your e-mail address. And think twice before using the auto-complete feature on your browser because it may allow spammers to harvest personal information. Some experts also advise changing your e-mail address yearly. Using a good spam filter and other email security measures to make filtering and protecting your email easier is always a good practice.
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