The pandemic has taught us the value of sanitation and cleanliness. However, it is not only literal in meaning but has a wholesome aspect to it. We all have witnessed the impact of pollution on the environment. The concepts of Global Warming, Acid Rain and Ozone Layer depletion are not new; it has been there for years. Therefore, we humans with a strong sense of vision and action need to take steps to reduce the emission of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere.
Now, you must be thinking, how is digitization inducing a Carbon footprint?
Well, the answer is in the technicality. The way we produce digital information and store them in data centres indirectly releases Carbon footprints into the atmosphere. It’s time we look deep and think of ways to reduce our digital carbon footprint.
Internet’s Role in Carbon Footprint
The Internet will not work without electricity. Laptops, gadgets, and mobiles are some of the devices that use chemical energy via batteries. The more you search and flip web pages, the graph of your digital footprint gets longer. It is estimated that only about 1MB of an email emits about 20 g of Carbon dioxide in its life cycle. Twenty emails emit as much as a car that drives about a thousand km.
Data centres are powered day in and out to bring media like videos, pictures, podcasts, news, etc., to your respective devices. The fact that we are always on and connected to the digital space is one of the most significant contributors to carbon emissions.
Tips to Reduce our Digital Carbon Footprint
A Tech Break
The term only implies that we need to take a break from the use of technology. There are several other ways to get creative than being on the Internet. It is highly effective to switch off your devices when not being used and save up energy.
If you read through your devices’ updates, you will know how to save energy via simple methods. Examples like lowering the brightness of your monitor, changing to battery saving mode in your phone will make your phone last longer without charging.After all, the future of energy storing devices is here.
Set to Power Saving mode
Don’t forget to hibernate or shut down your devices when you do not work. Many times people move on to their office breaks with their laptops on. Being mindful about it can add up to your efforts to save the environment.
Type in the Address
As you navigate for a particular website over and over again, you make your search engine do a lot of data processing. Instead, directly type in the web address you wish to visit, like gmail.com, instead of having to google it.
Say No to Streaming
Streaming makes your server go back to the same data multiple times. It makes the process lengthier for you as well as adds to your digital carbon footprint. Make sure you download the videos you want rather than streaming them.
You must know that a third party tracks your information as you visit a page and sends it to several other web pages. Change your settings to stop tracking your details by your search engine. It will save energy and block data transfers and processing.
There are little things that you can do to stop sending more information to data centres. When you scroll through your social media accounts, the news feed plays many videos in auto mode even when you do not need them. Stop the autoplay as videos use more data and thereby more energy.
Look through the Innovations
Creators take many steps to launch search engines that have a go green intention. One of them is Ecosia. It funds tree plantation from its profit from online searches. You can also calculate and minimize your carbon footprint at carbonfund.org.
Time to Change
Industries, Automobiles, and Food have already been on the list of highest contributors to carbon emissions. With digitization, we have been able to merge with countries and connect through one source; but let us not build a bleak future for the generations to come by overusing technology.
Remember the 3R’s, Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. Let’s make use of renewable energy sources and frame some sustainable developmnt goals as well. Check out smart apps that you can integrate with your home devices to save on energy. Also, look for efficient use of solar energy or wind energy in the amalgam of digital explorations. All we have to do is take one step at a time to make a slight difference consistently.
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