The inventor who saved millions of trees


    From the picture you might have guessed what we are talking about today and you would probably be right.


    Thanks to Ray Tomlison, the inventor of email and the man who picked the @ symbol, more trees can be saved from becoming paper.

    He died on Saturday at age 74.


    Originally from Amsterdam, New York, Tomlinson went to school at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and MIT in the 1960s, and was working at research and development company Bolt Beranek and Newman – now Raytheon BBN Technologies – when he made his email breakthrough.

    At the time, few people had personal computers. The popularity of personal email wouldn’t take off until years later but has become an integral part of modern life.

    Tomlinson once said in a company interview that he created email “mostly because it seemed like a neat idea”. The first email was sent between two machines that were side-by-side, according to that interview.

    He said the test messages were “entirely forgettable and I have, therefore, forgotten them”. But when he was satisfied that the program seemed to work, he announced it via his own invention by sending a message to co-workers explaining how it could be used.
    Tomlinson chose the @ symbol to connect the username with the destination address and it has become part of the international language of communication.

    In our opinion, email is a green choice because it eliminates the use of paper and fossil fuels in delivery.

    According to conservatree, one tree makes 8,333 sheet of typical 20lb. weight copy of paper. If we assume that one newsletter which uses a sheet of paper is sent as an email, then an average of 20 million emails per day (we are being modest) divided by 8,333 would equal 2,400 trees saved daily.

    Imagine that.


    Although this is good, paper isn’t the only the reason trees are being felled not when park, highways and more are being constructed.

    So while we celebrate emails, we know that it’s effect is not necessarily life changing for the trees when millions are cut down daily for other purposes. Still, little drops of water make a mighty ocean.

    So, a mighty thank you to Roy Tomlinson for saving our trees even if that might not have been your intention.