Although many do not know it, the daily actions of Internet use generate a polluting carbon footprint and the figures are to be concerned.
Internet has been and is a true revolution in communication and information. A global network that allows you to reduce distances and gain access to vast databases and information. But it is also a massively used convergent, especially due to the boom in social networks, email and streaming services.
Much of the day we spend on social networks, even many jobs today are related to using the Internet and working from home. Even when we need a little leisure, we go to get lost in "cyberspace"
Despite the fact that Internet services have made possible an enormous transfer of data that have replaced physical formats, such as paper, energy and resources required by the gigantic infrastructure that implies that these systems work, including telecommunications and online services, they have a definite impact on our planet.
The Internet is bad for the planet
In 2018 the Information and Communication Technology (ITC) sector consumed between 6 and 10% of the electrical energy generated in the world; It is estimated that by 2030 that figure will rise to 21% of all electrical energy, largely including Internet use. It is estimated that the carbon footprint of the Web could soon be equal to that generated by global transport, that of goods and people combined. A study by Hamilton’s McMaster University assures that in the last 50 years the energy consumption of electrical devices has grown 600%, the majority related to infrastructure for the Internet, including servers, computers and smart mobile devices. Email is the largest source of consumption.
Today it is difficult to perceive any work activity without it, but according to a report by the consultancy Two Sides released by the International Workplace Group, the activity linked to emails around the world is equivalent to the carbon footprint produced by 890 million cars .
The math is blunt: emailing actually adds to your carbon footprint. Nearly 2.4 million emails are sent every second and some 74 trillion emails are sent per year, assuming all emails emit the lowest estimate (0.3g CO2 each), the total CO2 generated worldwide from emails it would be 22 million metric tons of CO2 per year.
This is equivalent to the amount of greenhouse gases produced by almost 5 million cars. If all emails emit the highest estimate (50g CO2 per message), each year approximately 4 billion metric tons of CO2 will be generated by emails sent worldwide. This is equivalent to the CO2 emitted annually by 890 million cars.
Your obsession with social media is killing the planet
One of the most massive uses for the Internet is that of social networks. It is estimated that at least 84% of Web users use at least one social network. To give us an idea of the impact, a recent report by Gartner, an information technology research company, assures that the energy it takes to send a tweet generates 0.02 grams of CO2. With an average of 500 million tweets sent daily, a total of 10 metric tons of CO2 is generated per day. And that's just Twitter, the seventh social network with the most users in the world below Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, FB Messenger, WeChat, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, the Top 6 in that order.
According to the prestigious page specialized in Statista statistics, in 2017 Facebook generated 979,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
9 recommendations to reduce your digital carbon footprint
- Reduce the size of the documents you send by email to reduce the weight of the message.
- Use hypertensive links instead of adding attachments and compressing long documents.
- Do not distribute chain letters, petitions, humorous, false images or gossip.
- Delete emails that no longer serve regularly and empty the trash.
- Cancel your subscription to Newsletters that you do not read.
- Directly type the address of the site you want to visit in your browser instead of using search engines.
- Reduce the number of pages you see by using keywords.
- Label the sites you visit regularly as "favorites".
- Use the function to optimize energy use of your smartphones regularly and close the applications that you are not using.