The internet takes up incredible amounts of energy that can be damaging to the Earth. It is important to learn how to make the internet more sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

Around 4.6 billion people use the internet every day and around 30 billion internet-connected devices exist in today’s world. It is said that around 350,000 tweets can be sent per minute across the globe. 

Many people are unaware of the damage the internet can cause to our planet. 

This results in the internet taking up a huge amount of energy and negatively impacting our planet. 

  • Data servers produce incredible amounts of emissions, leaving behind large carbon footprints.  
  • Most internet data is stored in data centers that are taking up a large amount of energy and use non-renewable sources of energy 
  • These data centers are making efforts to reduce the amount of energy they are using and be more sustainable for the environment 

Data Centre

  • A great amount of IT energy is coming from data centers that are used to store data and computer hardware because they most likely use a local electricity grid for power which is using non-renewable sources of electricity. 

For the sake of our planet, the internet needs to become more sustainable. 

So how can we make the Internet more sustainable?

  • Some technologies have been implemented such as smart vehicles, smart home systems, smart meters, and smartwatches that are leading towards making the planet more sustainable. 
  • Home smart meters are being implemented in many countries to help monitor and reduce household energy usage.   

Creating websites that take up less energy 

Creating a website that takes up less energy has its pros and cons. Website creators can create more minimalistic websites that contain fewer images and videos with less creative fonts for the writing portion. However, this creates a less exciting and engaging website for its users. 

  • Google’s website has a somewhat minimalistic homepage and only generates o.2g per website visit, which is pretty good compared to Daily Mail’s homepage of 54.0g per website visit. 

Another example of a minimalistic style website is ETQ

https://www.etq-amsterdam.com

ETQ is clean and simple with minimal

variety in fonts. 

Sun-powered Web?

There is the possibility to create websites that are completely run by solar energy which is much more environmentally friendly. This option also has its pros and cons. Websites run by solar energy depend on the quality of the solar energy to maintain the quality of the website. 

Sunny day= have better resolution Cloudy day= have lower resolution

  • Many times these differences are not even noticed by users and end up consuming smaller amounts of energy.
  • Businesses can improve their reputation by showing efforts to reduce energy consumption and be more environmentally friendly

Renewable energy-powered web hosting

Many people are paying for services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) to store files on big web servers. Some people are purchasing offsets which are payments that can compensate for carbon emissions by supporting low-carbon energy transmission to lessen the impact of the amount of energy being used. Others may purchase energy from renewable sources to match the total energy consumption. 

  • Many businesses have begun to install renewable energy systems such as solar panels or wind turbines with battery backups to directly power IT infrastructure. 

Carbon Results for:

https://theconversation.com/the-internet-consumes-extraordinary-amounts-of-energy-heres-how-we-can-make-it-more-sustainable-160639

  • Cleaner than 73% of web pages tested
  • Only 0.25g of CO2 is used every time someone visits this page and this website is using sustainable energy
  • This page has around 10,000 views per month and produces 30.4kg of C02 equivalent, 33 billion bubbles, emits the amount of carbon that two trees absorb in a year, and 79kWH of energy which is enough to drive an electric car 508km. 

Lowering Carbon Footprint

  • 50 million tons of electronic waste are generated every year which is equivalent to 1000 laptops being thrown away per second
  • One way we can lower our carbon footprint is by resisting the urge to buy the latest released iPhone or computer when the one we have still works and is functioning
  • Unfortunately, some products are made to not last forever and they get hard to fix by yourself so you will have to buy another product
  • When you do need to dispose of a technology device, it’s important to do it in the right way by recycling it. You can always research places nearby that will allow you to bring your devices to be recycled.
  • It’s also important for us to be conscious of our power and electricity use by turning off things when we are not using them. It’s easy to get in the habit of keeping lights on or keeping phones and computers on because we get distracted and forget to turn them off. 
  • A lot of items still use power even if they are turned off but they’re still plugged in. So it is also important to unplug products like computers, phones, or iPads when they are not in use (Harris,2021)

Further Reading:

A Guide to your digital carbon footprint and how to lower it  https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/12/digital-carbon-footprint-how-to-lower-electronics/

Solar Protocol 

http://solarprotocol.net/call.html

Pioneering the Future Of Sustainable Data Centers

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2023/03/17/pioneering-the-future-of-sustainable-data-centers/?sh=5630034949fc

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