What if you went to the checkout to send e-mails…while working to protect the environment? This is the proposal of Nathan Herbert, co-founder of Ecomail, a French ethical and eco-friendly messaging solution. Interview.
The raw materials that are essential for the manufacture of our computers, smartphones or tablets, the energy used to store our data or even the water or air conditioning needed to cool data centers… Digital pollution encompasses many aspects and its increase is exponential. Today, digital technology emits 3.8% of the world’s greenhouse gases. It is more than civil air transport. By 2025, this percentage could double and rise to 8%. How can you reduce your impact on the planet when many of us use the internet every day? This is the question Nathan Herbert asked himself about 6 years ago.
This website maker is then in full doubt and are “environmental beliefs” are no longer in line with his professional activity. After looking “by chance” a documentary about digital pollution, he thinks he will find a way to reconcile his professional skills with this enormous challenge. “I wondered what was being used by everyone that would have an impact. I immediately thought of e-mails”explains the one who works in duo with his partner, Clio Herbert. “There was no actor in this field at the time, so I started this project with this goal: to make emails eco-responsible.”
How ? Ecomail’s solution is simple: in exchange for a subscription at 12 euros per year, you have access to a classic letterbox that reminds you of the environmental impact of its use. After a certain threshold of emails stored in your account, a module reminds you to delete your messages to reduce your carbon footprint.
Fund associative projects
But that is not everything ! ecomail, “small company based in Corrèze and whose Paris servers run on hydraulics”, undertakes to donate 30 to 50% of its turnover to environmental associations. Objective : finance concrete projects related to the protection of the environment and biodiversity† For example, right now Ecomail wants to fund a squirrel pipe, an air passageway to allow squirrels to cross the road without the risk of being run over.
“The projects vary according to the needs of the associations”, describes the entrepreneur, ranging from financing an animal shelter to buying forest plots or planting trees. The most important thing for the duo behind Ecomail is to be transparent on corporate donations. For example, on the mailbox interface you can view the company’s turnover month after month and take into account the division of this money between donations, taxes and operating costs.
Don’t become a product
If Ecomail works like a classic mailbox, other actions are also available: you can access a digital diary† working on a document with several people at the same time and have a 2 GB storage (100 GB for pros)† Found on all major web giants, these tools are made available through open source software, meaning anyone can access the source code and verify its content. Impossible for anyone to add a data tracker, a precious asset for web companies who resell yours in exchange for free access to their tools.
Paying for a mailbox may not seem intuitive to a generation of internet users accustomed to such free tools. “But if a service is free”remembers Nathan Herbert, “you are the product. So why pay for a mailbox? You know you are not the product, your data is not used and you contribute to the financing of associative projects”†
Want to have a positive impact on the environment, reduce your carbon footprint from digital pollution and regain control of your data? Visit the Ecomail website and get a free 30-day trial.