Being eco-friendly has become a priority in the daily life of many people. Consuming products made in your own country, buying organic goods, and recycling are common ways to improve your ecological footprint. But did you know that the digital industry is also a source of pollution. Below is some advice that can help you make a positive ecological impact in regards to the digital world. Thanks to this, we can all act to put digital technology at the service of our planet!
“Why a Smart Digital Transition is Necessary”
The Digital industry has a big impact on the environment. If the Internet were a country, it would be the third biggest electricity consumer worldwide right after China and the United States. The Internet represents 4% of the world’s carbon emissions and this consumption doubles every four years! For more figures, in terms of CO2 emissions, the Internet pollutes 1.5 times more than air transport.
But why is the ecological impact of digital technology so high? Digital objects are becoming more important than ever in our daily lives. We use them at a much higher rate than in the past. Also, manufacturing them mobilizes a lot of resources. Did you know that making a 2 kg computer takes 600 kg of raw material. Furthermore, the number of Internet users is growing exponentially. 3.9 billion internet users in 2016 to nearly 5 billion in 2021. (according to Google).
Therefore we have a larger number of internet users who are using digital objects at a faster rate and as a result forces more of these objects to be manufactured. Unfortunately, this can have a devastating ecological impact.
Our tips to reduce your digital pollution
The Moneytizer is here to share some advice on how to reduce your digital ecological impact. Firstly, regarding your digital devices, you should avoid changing them too often despite the trends or constant new promotions. Instead of changing them as soon as there’s an issue, think of fixing them first. If you decide to get rid of them, don’t leave them in a closet because they can be recycled. You can donate your devices or even sell them if they still work. They will get a second life! Also consider buying reconditioned goods. By doing this, you limit the consumption of energy and raw materials as well as the production of waste. Also, to ensure your devices have a longer lifespan, set up an antivirus. This will prevent breakdowns and save you money!
Secondly, web searches also emit a lot of greenhouse gases. To reduce the damage, make specific searches online. Use keywords and add the sites you visit regularly to your favorites. This will decrease your greenhouse gas emissions. You can also choose eco-friendly search engines such as Ecosia. 80% of their benefits goes to tree plantation.
Thirdly, did you know that your mailbox causes some pollution? A company of 100 employees generates an average of 14 tons of CO2 per year by just sending emails. If you want to reduce your impact, remember to clean your mailbox regularly. You should also unsubscribe from newsletters that you do not read.
Finally, optimize your printing to save raw materials and energy. Only print when it’s necessary, in black and white and vica versa. Use labelled paper (FSC, European ECOLABEL) and labelled cartridges (certified Blue Angel, Nordic Ecolabel).
But be careful not to get fooled. Many brands use ecology as a marketing tool. But when you start digging, you find out that there is no real action behind their words. In those cases, we talk about ‘greenwashing’. You now have all the cards in hand to limit your ecological impact on the internet! Digital Technology is a serious matter.
If you have other tips, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments!