A real-life trashcan was created to make people aware of the climate impact their inboxes have.
Apparently, digital pollution has a big climate challenge. It’s responsible for 4% of global greenhouse emissions which is as much as civil aviation. Its impact is monumental and yet it is little known by the general public
The main reason is that digital pollution is invisible. The servers which store our emails (with their often large attachments) pollute the environment at remote locations, far enough from our cities to be forgotten. This works with a classic human bias: we don’t realize the impact of what we don’t see.
To raise awareness of this problem, Soixante Circuits, a French agency that designs interactive experiences for users and visitors, launched the campaign titled “IRL Trashcan, the contactless email destroyer”.
The company created the first real life email trashcan that prevents carbon emissions from deleted emails. It’s a simple solution—an NFC-connected physical trashcan that allows users to immediately delete all the emails from their trash. Inspired by the trashcan icon and made from recycled and sustainable materials, it reminds every person passing by of their invisible digital pollution.
The agency’s campaign spot claims that “by making the invisible visible, IRL Trashcan questions our daily digital use and encourages us to act to reduce its impact”.