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Are Our Online Habits Destroying the Planet

Are Our Online Habits Destroying the Planet?

Gaceta UNAM

internet energy usage

We’ve come a long way since Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. In 2016, 81% of the Spanish population were online, compared to just 76% of the United States population. These numbers are likely to increase as more and more people get into the internet. However, our collective internet consumption is not sustainable for our planet in the long term.

The guide to global internet energy usage seeks to bring online habits to people’s attention so we can make smarter energy-conscious consumer choices. It covers: The immense growth of internet users across the world and the countries with the highest number of people online as of 2020 (China and India lead the top two spots).

massive amount of energy

The massive amount of energy needed to power social media websites, online streaming, cryptocurrency, and cloud computing services. An in-depth look at the carbon footprint that our online activities and consumption generate. Here are some numbers about the effects our internet use is having on the environment: One email releases 4 grams of carbon dioxide CO2 into the atmosphere. It’s possible for a single email with a large attachment to have a footprint of up to 50 grams.

A year of inbound mail for a typical business creates around 135kg of CO2. 3.5% of the 3.7% global emissions coming from the internet is from the information communications and technology industry. Data centres worldwide are consuming approximately 1% of global electricity. Netflix was responsible for 300 million tonnes of CO2 globally in 2018.

A simple online Google search emits 0.2 grams of carbon dioxide. To go deeper about the Global Internet Energy Usage guide, check out the full guide here:

This blog article was prepared for GreenInitiative by Elisha Adams.


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