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Pollution and the Internet: How Do Our Emails Impact Global Warming?

Internet pollution

Our online activities, streaming and Cloud platforms produce harmful emissions for the environment, but not many talk about this. Here is how much pollution we produce using the internet and how we can reduce our CO2 emissions on the internet.

Internet pollution: how much is it?>

Recently, more and more people have been talking about internet pollution, a concept that never occurred to us before. It is an invisible form of pollution, which hides behind daily activities that seem completely harmless.

Chat, video calls, e-mails and online searches actually have an enormous environmental impact and the CO2 emissions produced weigh on global pollution about 1 billion and 850 million cubic tons per year, like an entire nation (fourth in terms of size after China, the United States and India).

How does the internet pollute?

Where do the CO2 emissions of the internet come from? Simple. Even if the pollution of the web is intangible from our workstations, we are well aware that what we do online inevitably translates into energy consumption.

For example, streaming platforms and Clouds, where all of our data is kept, work thanks to huge servers that store all this information: a single one of these machines produces 1 to 5 tons of CO2 in a year. In light of this, it is quite easy to understand how even sending just one e-mail pollutes.

How can I reduce Internet CO2 emissions?

To reduce internet pollution, each of us can do a lot, starting now, by putting into practice a few simple precautions.

A few examples?

  • Reduce e-mail circulation (avoiding useless ones);
  • Reduce the number of attachments and prefer hyperlinks;
  • Delete images from your digital signature to lighten it;
  • Select the number of email recipients avoiding mass mailings (in CC);
  • Read documents and play videos locally;
  • Reduce the use of the cloud and prefer storage on hard drives;
  • Turn off unused devices and do not leave them on standby;
  • Choose providers powered by renewable sources and eco-friendly websites.

As we previously mentioned, there are websites that are mindful about the environment. Waidy WOW, for example, in addition to helping you reduce your environmental impact, is a “Zero Impact Web” site, as it compensates for its own CO2 emissions.

Choosing to consult zero-impact websites and to avoid sending useless emails are practical actions that are as good for the environment as choosing to eliminate plastic bottles!


1 Source: Global Carbon Project