Let’s Not Assume That A Thank You Is A Waste Of Time

Hey there, hero!

In the category of a measurement that might not be the whole story, OVO Energy in Britain would like you to “think before you thank.”

They claim that if the people in the UK alone would send one less totally unnecessary “thank you” email per day, we’d cut down our carbon emissions by 32 million pounds per year.

So, doing the math, it appears that the 66 million residents of the UK are adding a smidge less than a half-gram of carbon emissions to our environment with every “unnecessary” thank you email sent.

But is a thank you email really unnecessary?

Hope this helps!



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  1. I think that Thank You e-mails and the amount of Carbon they produce is negligible compared to the excessive use and Christmas lights this time of year. Even more, I believe all of the power used validate Crypto Currency like Bitcoin could be a far worse culprit in the production of excess Carbon. This might be a good hypothesis for future study.

  2. This is a funny video but also a very serious concept. I run a nonprofit. Our mission is to inspire people to plant more trees and sequester carbon from the environment. Trees naturally store carbon and help cool the planet. Planting more trees to replace what we have destroyed is a way “to slow the atmospheric and marine accumulation of greenhouse gases, which are released by burning fossil fuels”. Most of our power is created by burning fossil fuels. This includes the power we use to send emails. I read the OVO post and have mixed feelings about it. I agree thank you emails are very important. They allow us to build relationships. I also understand why OVO would ask people to reduce the number of emails they send. I think they missed the mark by focusing on “thank you” emails. The post doesn’t drive home the need to reduce email waste in general. It just makes people question the article. Unfortunately, when conversations turn to should we or shouldn’t we stop sending “thank you” emails it ruins a great opportunity to change habits that will affect the planet. If they had just focused on junk emails or paper statements I think they would have had a stronger point. It might have opened some minds to the habits we all have. Thank you for this video and for being open to other opinions.

  3. Maybe they want us to return to the practice of sending thank you notes through the mail? That requires cutting down trees as well as manufacturing ink and stamps and the inefficient use of postal vehicles to deliver the notes.

    On the other hand, maybe thank you emails aren’t that bad after all.

  4. David,

    Can you explain how a thank you email sends out carbon emissions? They must be angry at me because I put my bills and cards in snail mail. I am with you. I mail out Thanksgiving cards to my clients/business contacts every year. I believe that they are appreciated by my clients and contacts. I was at a meeting the other night and one of my business contacts sought me out to thank me for my “thoughtful” Thanksgiving card. She asked me if I knew a particular marketing company and said she would mention my name to them. I love cards and letters email or otherwise.

    Thank you for your input.