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A penny per email could curb our enormous data use

<span>‘Think how much money could be raised to counter the impact on our environment if we all paid just one penny for each digital message we blithely send.’</span><span>Photograph: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek/Getty Images</span>
‘Think how much money could be raised to counter the impact on our environment if we all paid just one penny for each digital message we blithely send.’Photograph: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek/Getty Images

The long read (Power grab: the hidden costs of Ireland’s datacentre boom, 15 February) highlights the enormous cost in terms of energy consumption and carbon emissions of our collective love affair with the seemingly free ability to send emails, text and WhatsApp messages every minute of the day. There is an enormous cost to us all in terms of data storage – a fact of which we are barely cognisant.

Think how much money could be raised to counter the impact on our environment if we all paid just one penny for each digital message we blithely send. And tuppence if there is an attachment, and thruppence if it includes a digital photo of the meal you ate at a restaurant last night.

We’ll never stop digital communication, but we would think more carefully about what we send, particularly where group messaging and emailing is involved. I would gladly pay a penny for this email communication that I’ve just sent you – still a hundred times cheaper than sending it via snail mail.
Mike McClelland
Devizes, Wiltshire

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• While I agree that datacentres – anywhere, not just Ireland –grab a worryingly huge amount of power, what about those unasked for, wasteful emails that bombard you with the hour by hour progress of something you’ve ordered, ending with the news that “Your parcel has now been delivered”. Yes, I noticed that – I’m holding it in my hand!
Sue Stephenson
Barrow-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire

• Do you have a photograph you’d like to share with Guardian readers? If so, please click here to upload it. A selection will be published in our Readers’ best photographs galleries and in the print edition on Saturdays.