The Invisible Impact of the Internet - Soulful Concepts
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-363399,single-format-gallery,eltd-cpt-1.0,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,moose-ver-1.1.1, vertical_menu_with_scroll,smooth_scroll,blog_installed,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.10.0,vc_responsive

The Invisible Impact of the Internet

  • the-invisible-impact-of- the-internet
  • the-invisible-impact-of- the-internet
  • the-invisible-impact-of- the-internet

One thing that often doesn’t occur to us is the invisible impact our internet usage has. Most people have heard of the term ‘carbon footprint’, coined by big oil companies back in the 90s. It conjures up images of car and flight emissions and makes us think about how we can offset the impact. 

While we now know that it’s those same big oil companies that are contributing the most to our global carbon emissions, it’s always a positive change to reduce our own impact where we can. 

How internet usage is increasing


Did you know that the internet now contributes 3 – 4% of overall global emissions every year? Between 2010 and 2020, the overall number of people accessing the internet went from 2.02 billion to 4.70 billion

While an increase in internet access is a wonderful thing for education, sharing experiences of the world and increasing connection, it has had an impact on the health of our environment. 

This overall impact is collectively created through the devices we use to access the internet, the servers that hold the information we’re accessing and the power used to actually keep both devices and servers running. 

With so many of us working remotely, including the increase of digital nomads, it’s a good idea to keep a few things in mind to be more conscious with your internet usage. 

Things like streaming music or TV shows, watching YouTube or TikTok or even scrolling through Pinterest are more impactful than accessing something like a text blog post with just a few images. 

Even the video quality you stream on has an impact on how much data and in turn energy you’ll use. 

Watching a five minute video on YouTube at 480p definition uses just 45 megabytes (units  of data), while the high definition 1440p uses ten times as much. The more data that’s used, the higher the CO2 emissions will be. 


The health of your devices has an impact on your data usage


While it’s always good to keep your devices running well for as long as possible, there is a balance to be found. 

For example, if you stream 1 gigabyte (1000 MB) of data when you’re watching a movie on a newer device, you’ll only release around 18 grams of CO2. 

For a laptop that’s three years old and not as efficient as it once was, the overall impact will increase to around 828 grams of CO2

That said, if you need to throw out an electronic device, make sure to recycle it using e-waste collections available with your local council or some retail stores.


Roaming responsibly 


If you’re preparing for a big trip or are simply travelling domestically around Australia, consider looking for carbon neutral phone companies like Felix Mobile.

For a little extra cash each month, you can use data that’ll be carbon offset on your behalf. There are also other ways you can reduce your carbon emissions from your device and internet usage: 

  • If you’re going to be on a bus or train trip and want to listen to music or watch a movie, download them beforehand. Aside from guaranteeing you’ll have access no matter whether you’re going through no-service areas, you’ll also reduce the amount of data needed to watch or listen. 
  • Make sure you’re regularly closing down background apps that you aren’t using. Even if they’re sitting idle on your phone, they’ll still be using data in the background. 
  • Opt for the offline version of any apps you’ll need while you’re travelling. Google Translate and Google Maps can both be made available offline, just download them in advance so you only need to use data once to get that all important hotel location or local phrase. 
  • If you’re travelling through an area with poor signal or WiFi and have everything you need downloaded, switch off WiFi and data when you’re not using them. This will also save your phone battery so you won’t need to charge as often! Ideal for when you’re in more remote locations. 


Make your website green


If you have a travel blog, gallery or website, there’s a way you can make it more environmentally friendly for your visitors too. 

For starters, opting for a carbon neutral server like those at True Green will mean that all data used by your website to hold content, images and videos will be offset by planting trees and supporting clean energy projects through  Carbon Neutral Australia

When it comes to managing your website itself, there are a few other easy changes you can make: 

  • Optimise your images before you upload them. While those High Definition stunning photos of your travels are beautiful for printing, they don’t need to be larger than 100 kilobytes (0.001 megabytes) or no more than 1500px wide to look great on your website. You can run them through free tools like TinyPNG and compress them for you before you upload. Aside from using less data, it also means your website loads faster! 
  • If you’re putting travel vlogs onto your website, add them to a video hosting platform like YouTube first. Then, you can embed them onto your website. Just like with compressing your images, embedded videos mean your website needs less disk space, loads faster and uses less data for those visitors who want to watch your adventures. 
  • When adding a PDF document, save them for the web too. You can even compress them by using a tool like SmallPDF.
  • Finally, if there are old images or videos that you don’t really need anymore, deleting them from your media folder on your website and removing from any pages they’re on will keep things tidy and may even save you on storage costs. 


Author: Ray Pastoors, Founder True Green® Hosting

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.