Three quick ways to reduce your online carbon footprint online.
This post supports a presentation I will be giving after our second Climb It For Climate event on 11th January.
The internet is a power hungry beast and every time you search, browse or store something online there is a hidden carbon cost. There are three main areas you can make quick and easy improvements in. In just a few minutes you can change your online habits for the better!
If you host a website for your business, side hustle, brand or blog, you should think about how it is hosted. To get an idea of how “green” your site is check out Website Carbon to see how your site compares to the rest of the net. One Sleeve is cleaner than 70% of sites tested which is great but there is still work to do!
If you are not happy with the results you can find out where to make improvements with Ecograder. It will identify areas to make changes and provide a hit list to take to your web designer to open discussions.
The biggest change you can make is to host with an eco-friendly hosting company. Sitegeist Web Services look after all One Tree/One Sleeve web hosting and use servers powered by 100% renewable energy. Moving from a normal hosting company to Sitegeist was the single biggest improvement we could make for our online impact and the improvements came without changing a single line of code!
Have a look at your email account(s). How many unread emails do you have in there? Probably quite a few! The vast majority of us don’t pay anything for our email accounts and if you use Gmail or similar you effectively have unlimited storage. So if an email pops into your inbox that you know you’ll never read, you probably just leave it there rather than deleting it. I know I used to!
The trouble with those unread emails is that they need storing somewhere and this has a carbon cost. Each stored email costs about 10g of carbon a year. So all those never to be read messages in your inbox start adding up. Take a few minutes to delete them (if you use Gmail and want to find and delete all your unread mail this is a handy guide).
The second thing you can do is stop getting unwanted emails. Did you know that only 10% of email newsletters are ever opened. Of course you didn’t, no normal person would. But if you think about all those emails trying to sell you something, or LinkedIn mails telling you about some ex colleagues’ work anniversary, it starts making sense. Cleanfox.io is a great tool for some newsletter and inbox cleaning.
Your Search Engine
This is the easiest of the lot. Instead of using google, use Ecosia. Ecosia is a search engine which uses it’s ad revenue to plant trees. If 1 in 5 people used Ecosia instead of google they could plant enough trees to sequester (capture) all the annual global carbon emissions! So, change your search provider to Ecosia.
So there you have it. Three easy ways of reducing your environmental impact online. If you run a website, check where it is hosted, if you have an inbox, get rid of those unwanted emails and if you have a question, use Ecosia, not google!
If you have any questions, hints or tips about being green online, I’d love to hear them. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.