Videos featuring cats on YouTube have received over 26 Billion views! Take a moment to considered the collective digital carbon footprint of all those kitties.
According to a recent report by ClimateCare the carbon footprint of our gadgets, the internet and the systems supporting them accounts for 3.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions, similar to the that of aviation industry.
Digital tools are an integral part of our lives, but every video we stream, every search we perform, or email we send adds to our ever-expanding digital carbon footprint.
There are steps we can all take to reduce our impact, here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Be conscious of the cloud.
In a recent chat with Chris Fraser, he succinctly summed up the issue with cloud storage:
“The word “Cloud” has created a myth that there is unlimited space to store data in the sky. This needs debunking. If we all had to pay for space (or x amount only free), then we might clear it out occasionally like one’s garage.”
So, let’s all channel our inner Marie Kondo (KonMari Media, Inc.) and have a good clear-out!
2. Take a screen break and cut back on streaming.
A massive amount of online traffic is the result of users streaming videos. According to Sandvine The Global Internet Phenomena Report, Netflicks alone constitutes a mind boggling 13% of all internet traffic. That’s a lot of box sets! Why not try a couple of screen free evenings a week?
3. Reuse and recycle your old devices.
Don’t be seduced by the latest gadgets. Before replacing a device consider getting it repaired or refurbished and if it is truly broken or no longer fit for purpose, ensure it is disposed of correctly, so the elements can be recycled.
Businesses too need to take responsibility for their digital carbon footprint. In their recent sustainability report Amadeus demonstrates what can be achieved, when a company truly commits to greening their IT infrastructure:
“In 2019 we reached our target to achieve carbon neutrality at the Amadeus Data Centre. In 2020 we continued to use Guarantees of Origin to meet our zero emissions Data Centre policy. This initiative continues to have a large positive impact in overall company emissions, which were reduced almost by 70% since we started using Guarantees of Origin, marking a significant step toward Amadeus’ ambition of zero company emissions by 2050”
On my next tea break, I’ll resist the urge to browse YouTube and instead spend some time cleaning out my inbox and unsubscribing from any newsletters that aren’t ‘sparking Joy’.