Many of us have digital devices and we don’t leave home without them. We use them to communicate with the outside world and, for some of us, would be absolutely lost without them. Have you ever wondered how this affects your digital carbon footprint when you send/receive all those emails and things you’ve got saved on the cloud?
Maybe it’s time to start looking at digital sustainability?
What is Digital Carbon Sustainability?
It’s all about looking at the digital tools you use. As a business owner or an individual, and how you use them in order to benefit the environment. All digital devices will create a carbon footprint and this blog is to help you in creating your path to digital sustainability.
Why is it important?
We are becoming more aware of climate change and the effects we are having on the planet. I’m sure many of us have looked at making changes to reduce our carbon footprint – less holidays, walking instead of driving, what we spend our money on. Our digital devices can often be overlooked.
Technology has advanced so much in the last 20 years that our lives revolve. It and sits at the centre of almost everything we do. This increases the amount of data we consume and store held by data centres. The more data we have increases electricity usage.
Of course, sending emails has a much lower carbon footprint than sending letters, but we are sending A LOT of emails.
Did you know that if you sent 65 emails, that is the same as driving 1km in your car? Especially when you ‘reply all’.
Here are some numbers
What can we do about your digital carbon footprint?
I’m glad you asked!
- Deleting old emails. This is a great place to start. All the emails you have in your inbox/folders need to be stored on servers. I went through my emails and I had a folder called ‘funnies’. Whenever anyone sent me any funny/joke emails, I would file them in there. I had about 2,000 of these that I didn’t need.
- Something I didn’t know was about conference calls – if you’re scheduled to be on a video conference call for an hour, if you turn off your video function but keep the audio on, this can reduce your carbon footprint by 96% for that call. This is definitely a judgement call, plus – don’t annoy your boss!
- Use Ecosia – I use it and they plant trees from the profit they make from searches. It’s a free search engine and, it tells you how many trees have been planted since you’ve been using it.
- When charging your phone, put your phone on Airplane mode. I’ve done this and it charges faster
This can sound overwhelming so I can help you to get started.
If you’re like me (the old me) and you rarely delete an email and just file it, you will probably have a huge number of emails sitting in folders that you probably haven’t seen for weeks, months and probably years.
- Once a day, go through one folder and delete emails you don’t need – spend about 10 mins a day on this, don’t overwhelm yourself.
- Delete them from your deleted folder too
Instead of using Google, switch your search engine to Ecosia instead. They use the profit they make from searches to plant trees and it’s completely free to use. This is how it works – Search something on Ecosia (as you would on Google), the search ads generate income for Ecosia and they use that income to plant trees. Check them out here https://info.ecosia.org/
Unsubscribe to mailing lists you’re not interested in as these emails still carry a carbon footprint even though you’re not sending them.
Here’s some great feedback I’ve had on my Instagram page
I’m a firm believer that technological solutions will one of our biggest weapons in slowing down climate change, but we need to start as we mean to go on and adopt a holistic approach to address our digital carbon footprint.
If you’re ready to start taking care of yourself while being kind to the environment, grab the 8 BUSY MUM ECO SWAPS SELF-CARE EDITION download packed with tried and tested DIY recipes, cost comparisons and money-saving voucher codes
These are some ideas that work for me but may not work for everyone. Here are my terms & conditions for further reading