Why sending fewer emails is good for the environment, and other staff picks

Happy Friday! Here are the most interesting tech stories our team read this week.

A personal trainer for heartbreak (Read by Heidi B.)

Let’s be real: breakups stink. During my previous heartbreaks, I felt like I needed constant guidance from a trusted friend, but who really has friends that can listen to your woes all day? Well, now there’s an app for that. Mend is an app and online community founded by a former Google employee who recognized the need for better digital resources for the newly single after going through her own painful breakup and finding that existing online sites were too generic, offering empty platitudes and uninspiring directives. From helping you “detox” from your ex to boosting your self-esteem, Mend aims to help you be your best self, 24/7. I hope you never need Mend’s services, but if you find yourself unexpectedly rolling solo, it might be worth the download.

Lego launches a social network for kids too young for Facebook (Read by Alexandria H.)

There’s been a void in the lives of 7-12 year-olds when it comes to social networking, but it won’t exist much longer. Toy manufacturer Lego has launched a social networking site called Lego Life designed specifically for kids who are too young for Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Lego Life is part social network, part game and allows kids to interact and share pictures of their Lego creations. It tries to limit screen time by incorporating building challenges that prompt kids to shut down their computers and build with real blocks. More importantly, Lego promises a safe online environment with a three-step filtering process that ensures every post is kid-friendly. Considering how much inappropriate content there is on the internet, I think it’s great that Lego is creating an online space exclusively for kids.

How bad is email for the environment? (Read by Camillia S.)

Now there’s a question you don’t get every day, but according to this article it’s one worth considering. A single email (without an attachment) has a footprint of about 4 grams of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e), which comes from the power used by data centers to file, filter, and read the message. On a larger scale, the world’s data centers accounted for 130 million tons of CO2e in 2010, so those emails add up. The article doesn’t solely focus on email, but it takes into consideration other online habits as well. Take a look and see if there’s any way that you can reduce your contribution to the carbon footprint.

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