We’re all short on time as life resumes its frenetic pace, but it only takes small actions that are easily incorporated into our daily lives to reduce our environmental impact. There are the ways we’re familiar with, like shorter showers and taking advantage of public transport/bikes/our feet where possible, but there might be a few surprises in the hidden ways our computers impact our planet.
Walk, don’t type
Our first port of call is something we spend many hours on daily: the internet. While it certainly takes up a lot of our time, we more than likely don’t consider its energy effect. A BBC article published in 2020 revealed that eight emails produce the same amount of carbon dioxide as one kilometre in a car. If your reaction was What! like ours was, don’t worry, it’s easily remedied. Just have a think whether it’s necessary to send a one-word Thanks email or if a single more detailed reply is enough rather than an endless back and forth (might be a relief for you, too!).
Keeping with our techie carbon footprint, another culprit is leaving our chargers plugged in even when your phone is already charged. “Energy vampires” like these consume energy, adding to our already high bills. Or, (something most of us are guilty of), charging your devices even when they’re at 60%, just in case. Not only are you using more energy than needed, you’re also damaging the battery.
Given that many of us are web workers (and even more so since the pandemic), making the web more energy efficient has risen as a priority. Always have 30 browsers open? Close a few and take a bit of the burden off your burned-out electricity, it’s good for your laptop too. Set sites and devices to “dark mode” for further relief, and ease back on the constant swiping and autoplay of videos (I know…that one’s hard!) to lower the weight of websites and their vast energy consumption.
Ways to be green don’t stop there: other ways to keep our carbon footprint low are outlined through the ActGreen campaign on the Sole Project Med Instagram page, with simple hacks to reduce energy waste and our global guilt.