We know that cutting out single-use plastics and using less paper are both important to help protect the planet.
We’re encouraged to cut carbon emissions by using the car less, recycling, thinking more about how sustainable our food is, and of course using renewable energy!
And the way we use technology also leaves a ‘digital footprint’, and so maybe we think about ways we can protect the environment by being a little more selective about how much time we spend online.
I’m fascinated by technology and I have to admit I’m easily seduced by shiny gadgets, usually with fruit logos on them.
But I can feel a little overwhelmed at times - this often leads to a good, long walk in the countryside (but my mobile phone will be in my pocket!).
I thought it would be a good idea for us to share tips on small ways we can have occasional spring cleans.
The carbon footprint of the internet and the systems supporting it is estimated to account for about 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions, the same amount produced by the airline industry (I bet since the Covid-19 pandemic started it accounts for more).
Big tech companies like Apple and Google have started to make changes such as powering their servers and data centres with renewable energy.
But we’ve also got a responsibility, perhaps, to think about how much time we spend online.
This graphic by Statista on our collective internet usage is is fascinating:
And if anything I bet the reality is much more. Check out this snapshot at Visual Capitalist.
Here’s a few general tips on how to carry out a digital spring clean:
- Unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t read
- Select long conversations in email threads, pick the newest one and delete the rest
- Stop sending ‘ok’ and ‘thank you’ emails
- Block unwanted senders
- Turn off notifications from email, social media and other apps
- Delete emails that you won’t need again, to prevent them being stored unnecessarily
- Delete apps on your phone that you don’t use
- Delete redundant screenshots and photos
- Use your phone for quick internet searches instead of a laptop — it uses less energy
How many have you done? If you had to pick one, which looks like the best for you?
And if you’ve got any more tips, share it in the replies!