There is a common misconception that an internet-powered world would be one with a much smaller carbon footprint than we are living in right now. The truth is actually very different indeed and our carbon emissions from our internet use alone is growing by the year, to worrying levels. People need to be armed with this information so that they can make smart choices and this is why boiler brand Viessmann have launched the #thecoaltruth campaign, which seeks to inform people of the impact which they actions online are having on the environment. The irony is that through using the internet we can be better informed, but excessive online usage is where the problem lies, and here are some startling facts which you may not be aware of.
Rightfully so there has been a lot of talk in the last decade about air travel and there has been pressure on both airlines to find greener options, and on supermarkets to reduce their food miles. Equally many individuals have chosen different modes of transport to reduce the impact of airline fuel on the environment. This is all well and good, but did you know that the internet produced more carbon emissions than those of airlines around the world?
You may believe that using the internet is as simple as plugging in your computer and burning a little electricity, but there is much more than that involved. Through the use of servers around the world which eat up energy, the production of computer and gadget materials which involve the mining of rare minerals, not to mention the power which is used for every sent email, every search engine query, every video watched and every message sent.
The Cloud has been branded as some kind of magical software which stores data on an imaginary cloud and whilst this is beneficial for our storage needs, it is not so beneficial for our planet. In fact this storage solution is estimated to produce 830 million tonnes of CO2 each year, equating to 2% of our global emissions.
What Can You Do?
In terms of what you can do to help reduce the carbon emissions of internet usage, you first need to inform yourself further. Below is a video which was produced by Viessmann, which describes the impact of some of the most common actions taken online. Secondly you need to really address how and when you use the internet, seek out companies with greener solutions and look to use the internet only when absolutely necessary.
We must take action now, if not we may be too late.