As we mentioned in a previous blog post about building a sustainable website, if the internet was a country, it would be the seventh largest polluter. In an increasingly digital world, now is the perfect time to take stock of our digital habits.
What are some easy everyday changes we can all make to reduce our digital carbon footprint?
1. Do some spring cleaning
I have sniggered in the past at the concept of having an empty inbox. A few times in my life I have managed it, and I can confirm it is a blissful feeling, even if only short-lived!
As well as leaving you feeling zen, keeping a tidy inbox is great for reducing your carbon emissions. There are emissions associated with sending emails as well as storing them.
Making sure to only cc. in necessary colleagues to email threads and unsubscribing from unwanted newsletters can help too. The same goes for old photos and files, especially those in cloud storage. So, embrace your inner Marie Kondo and have a digital declutter.
2. Feeling camera shy?
Oh, the dreaded Zoom rectangle… Many of us had a rude awakening in 2020 when we were suddenly faced with our own reflections on a daily basis. But transferring a video stream over the web requires much more electricity (and therefore has much higher CO2 emissions) than an audio stream alone, so keeping your camera off may be the more eco-conscious choice.
So, the next time you are having a bad hair day, or have a pile of unfolded laundry behind you, I give you permission to keep your Zoom camera off and even offer you an excuse - say you are doing it for the planet! Or heck, just do an old-fashioned phone call!
3. Look into a sustainable energy provider for your home
With the working-from-home revolution, the responsibility for reducing workplace carbon emissions no longer lies solely with our employers.
This is great news as it gives those of us that work from home the opportunity to make a huge impact in our everyday lives. One of the biggest changes you can make in your home is switching to a sustainable energy provider.
You can either look for a green tariff with your existing energy provider (where they will either invest your money in carbon offsetting or buy renewable energy to cover your usage) or search for a provider whose focus is on investing in renewable energy sources.
That way you can rest assured that when you are charging your devices or browsing the web, the source of the energy to power these actions will be the best option for the planet.
4. Scale down and switch off
Small changes can add up to make a big difference. Shut off your computer when you are done for the day. Unplug your chargers when you are not using them (yes, even if you are not charging anything, it still uses a small amount of power).
Need to do a quick Google search? Use your phone rather than your laptop or desktop. Smaller devices use less electricity to run so opting for your phone helps to reduce your carbon footprint.
Ultimately, the best way to reduce your electricity consumption is to switch off your devices altogether.
How can your firm become more conscious about its digital carbon footprint?
At Conscious, we are currently measuring our digital footprint and looking at ways that we can positively contribute to the environment. We’ve started working on our B-Corp accreditation. Why doesn’t your firm look into this?
Want to have a chat about B-Corp accreditation? Give us a call on 0117 325 0200.