Save the planet : disable Facebook email notifications!

Nov 22, 2021 by Thibault Debatty | 111 views

Green Computing

https://cylab.be/blog/187/save-the-planet-disable-facebook-email-notifications

I consider myself a moderate Facebook user : I check my account roughly once a week, and I actually post something on my wall once a month, at best... And still, I receive approximately 20 emails per day notifying me that "Chuck Norris is a new friend suggestion" or "Mark Zuckerberg posted a new update". This is represents more than 7000 emails per year.

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According to Mike Berners-Lee in his book "How Bad are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything", the carbon footprint of a regular email is 4g [2]. So my email notifications from Facebook cause the production of 29kg of CO2 each year. This is approximately the equivalent of 130km by car (220g CO2/km).

Mike Berners-Lee is considered one of the leading expert in the world on the problematic of on carbon footprint. He is also the brother of Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. So probably he knows about the CO2 footprint of web related technologies...

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By the way, the number of Facebook users is currently estimated to 2.9 billiion [1]. So Facebook email notifications produce a total of 84 million tons of CO2 per year!

Disable Facebook email notifications

So, to reduce your carbon footprint by 29kg per year, here is how to disable Facebook email notifications...

  1. Click on the triangle at the top right, to open your menu

facebook_settings.png

  1. Click on Settings & Privacy, then on Settings
  2. In the left menu, click on Notifications

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  1. At the very bottom of the page, there is a section called How You Get Notifications, open the Email pane and check the box Only about your account

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  1. Congratulations, you just reduced your email footprint by 29kg per year!

This alone will obviously not save the planet, but is a first step in the correct direction. Want to do more? Share this post and spread the word ;-)

References

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/
  2. Berners-Lee, Mike. How Bad Are Bananas? : the Carbon Footprint of Everything. London :Profile, 2010.