What do spam and Green house gas have in common, besides not being delicious!

By Winn Apple   |   Published Feb., 2013

Now let’s just clear one thing up before we get started, Spam the canned meat IS delicious, particularly when you are on a hiking trip. I promise you’ll salivate after a long day of hoofing up them thar hills as a slice’a that is roasted over a roaring camp fire – its unidentifiable juice dripping down the length of that twig you have skewered through it. Yum is right!

Indeed, this satisfying canned substance is not the topic of today’s discussion. The spam I speak of is the sort you find in your email inbox, if not effectively filtered and directed into your trash. These lil buggers are not only annoying, but harmful and costly.

Over 183 billion spam emails are sent hurling through cyber space each day. That’s a lot Carl Sagan!

What in the world does that have to do with Green House gas? Well, it takes energy to generate, screen delete and store these pests. Let’s not even talk about the havoc that could be wreaked upon your operating system after opening an infected one. I know, I know. They call to you like sirens at sea, begging to be opened with tantalizing subject lines such as the following gems I discovered on cracked.com

1. Maintain your weight. amputate.

2. Two days of great sex for under $5

3. Just sign up and understand that your life was suxx before.

4. Hey girl how are things I once was a post man

Enough with the silliness, let’s get back to the topic at hand – the dangers of spam.

Admittedly it is tough to measure the amount of energy consumed by such a tiny lil thing – but it has been estimated to contribute greenhouse gases equivalent to over two billion gallons of gasoline each year. That would be equal to the carbon footprint of driving your car around the globe 1.6 million times.

And those computers we use to receive all these bits of spam often end up in landfills. Less than 20% are recycled. The electronic waste which ends up in our landfills are in danger of leaking toxins – lead, mercury, and cadmium make their way through the soil and into the water we drink and are ingested by the fish we eat. I imagine the fish won’t be too pleased when they catch wind of this. Keep alert on your next fly fishing trip. Those forty pound rainbow trout could be staging a coup.

Let’s talk about storing all those uber important emails we receive. Lots of juicy stuff stored at the data center. These facilities require an enormous amount of energy to heat, cool and power. According to the New York Times, data centers around the world consume more energy in one year than the entire country of Sweden.

In the midst of our rapidly advancing technology, we forget that everything has a cost. Even burning a CD or DVD generates 4 times the amount of CO2 than printing a 100 page four-color report. Those shiny little spheres are very difficult to recycle to boot!

Here’s another fun fact, Swedish researchers found that reading the news online for 30 minutes produces more CO2 per year, per reader than reading a printed news paper. Yes, it actually produces less CO2 to create your news paper each day, all year long. Admit it, you miss sending your four legged, floppy eared pal outside to fetch your paper while you brew your first cup of coffee – your dog, not your significant other. Jeeze you people are twisted!

As responsible folks, we try our darndest to make environmentally sound decisions, but our busy lives require us to take a few shortcuts along the way – shortcuts that Mother Nature doesn’t particularly appreciate. Don’t be hard on yourself. You’re doing your best and you should know that you do make a difference with even the smallest of efforts!

Consider this next time you sit down and prepare to craft a heart melting love email or a sexy text promising a rumpus to remember for under $5 – an actual love letter has been averaged to linger for over 65 years, a text or email, 5 seconds. Or worse, your smoldering hot email might just be rerouted to junk where it will wallow in a sea of spam.

Personalized, eco-friendly cards printed at Bacchus Press would never suffer such a tragic fate. They’d be way to sexy to ever toss. Drop us a line, we’ll help ya create something fetching…you smoldering Casanova, you!

Till next time, keep it green!

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A few great sources of information for this blog:

McAfee
 , newyorkgarbageEnvironmental Defense Fund ,ewasteguideNew Page Paper

About the Author

In addition to crafting content and blogs, Winn Apple writes short stories and novellas for middle-grade readers. You can find her short stories along with a portfolio on her site, MysticJunkyard.com or on her soon to release website, snugbuggle.com – the best darn place to find short stories for kids.

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