Spam’s Noxious Carbon Footprint

Email users may already hate spam, but perhaps they’ll be gratified to know that it’s also bad for the environment.

Calculating one’s carbon footprint may be all the rage, but in the case of spam, it’s serious, according to a study released Wednesday by computer security company McAfee (MFE) Avert Labs. The report found that an estimated 62 trillion spam messages are sent each year. Each email is associated 0.3 grams of carbon dioxide released as greenhouse gas, the equivalent of driving three feet–but given the total volume of spam each year, it’s like driving around the earth 1.6 million times.

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