5 ways to reduce your digital carbon footprint
With extreme weather events becoming more frequent than ever, there is no doubt that climate change poses a major threat to humanity now, and in the years to come. This has led to global calls for action such as reducing your carbon footprint to live longer.
But, what is the ‘carbon footprint’?
This is the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted as a direct result of our actions. But did you know we add to our carbon footprint just by working online? Every single search, mail, and gadget can add to your growing ‘digital carbon footprint’.
If you’re looking to be more environmentally aware, here are five ways you can be more careful about your digital carbon footprint.
Clean up your cluttered inbox
Every mail exchanged requires a certain amount of computing power and electricity. Try to make it a habit to reduce the amount of mail in your inbox by unsubscribing to newsletters you don’t read. Remember to report spam mails so they don’t keep coming back to you and regularly delete emails you don’t need to keep.
Reduce the brightness of the monitor to save energy
Harvard Law School energy manager Eric Potkin recommends reducing the brightness of your computer monitor from 100 percent to 70 percent or less. This small step will help save up to 20 percent of the energy used by the monitor. The change is almost imperceptible for most people and bringing the shine to a level where you are comfortable is a quick and easy way to reduce your footprint.
Use your browser wisely
Although it’s not very similar, every search query you type into a search engine is exhausting. While searching, try to be as accurate as possible to avoid doing a lot of search rotation. To save even more energy, try to keep only the tabs you need open. If you have a set of frequently used websites, access them from bookmarks instead of searching for them every day.
Every search query you type into a search engine and every file you upload to the cloud consumes energy.
Think again about cloud storage
Every file you store in the cloud is saved repeatedly for security reasons. So make a conscious decision to just upload and save what you think is really important. Do you really want all 10 nearly identical photos taken on the same day? If not, delete them from your cloud. If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly alternative, you can save them to pen drives or hard drives instead of in the cloud.
Dispose of your digital gadgets responsibly
Whether it’s something as small as a battery to something the size of your PC, don’t scrap the electronics or mix it with your household trash. There are many elements in electronic devices that are hazardous to the environment, while other components can be recycled. Find your nearest recycling center or pick-up service and give it away instead of throwing it away or letting it gather dust.
Making these small adjustments to your digital life can take time, but in the long run, you’re working towards a more eco-friendly life.
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