How much does the cloud pollute the environment?

how much the cloud pollutes the environment

In contemporary society, it is not uncommon for industries to obscure the intricate production processes that underlie our interconnected world. This includes the complex network of machinery, energy consumption and resource utilization necessary to maintain the functionality of our modern way of life. The cloud is that space in which we host a large amount of information on the Internet. However, many people do not know how much the cloud pollutes the environment.

Therefore, in this article we are going to tell you how much the cloud pollutes the environment and what you can do to reduce this environmental impact.

How much does the cloud pollute the environment?

how much the cloud pollutes the environment and the internet

It seems like every click or tap we make is inconsequential and does no harm. Choosing to read electronic newspapers instead of paper, sending emails instead of letters, and shopping without intermediaries instead of visiting a big box retailer may seem like more environmentally friendly options.

In conclusion, The fact of exclusively exploring websites that have an online presence can be classified as a minimalist trend. However, this behavior does not necessarily conform to the principles of minimalism.

Every time we search on the Internet, we release 0,2 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, which further aggravates the greenhouse effect and accelerates the process of climate change.

Utilizing the Internet by all entities, including individuals, corporations, and governments, requires a staggering amount of energy. In fact, This is equivalent to 7% of total world energy consumption.

In addition to uploading a photo to Instagram, storing files on cloud servers, or having a cluttered email inbox, there are many other digital tasks that can consume our time and energy.

Sustainable brands on the internet

In her LinkedIn post, Sofía Amenta, marketing specialist for sustainable and purpose-driven brands, reflected on the fact that the apps and tools we use every day seem to be offered at little or no cost. However this is not entirely true. The Internet requires a large amount of resources to maintain itself and to support us. Most of these resources are non-renewable and contribute significantly to the climate crisis.

To facilitate the immediate transmission of data over the Internet, physical components derived from nature are required. It may be wise to remember that this process requires:

  • Devices composed of various materials such as metals, plastics, glass, as well as circuits, cables, screens and antennas.
  • Electrical energy so that all the above devices can work.
  • A physical space is needed to store all of the above
  • The distance between the server and the user

According to Amenta, understanding the true cost of today's Internet is the first step in being able to restore it for the prosperity of humanity and the Earth.

Tips to reduce internet pollution

data storage

There are some simple tips that can help reduce the environmental impact of Internet use. One of the most effective methods is to reduce the total time you spend online. Another strategy is to switch to an energy efficient device, like a laptop, instead of a desktop.

You can also choose to adjust your computer's power settings to conserve power. Additionally, using search engines that prioritize green results and reducing the number of emails you send can also help reduce your environmental footprint.

To minimize the spread of unnecessary emails, it is advisable to refrain from using the “Reply All” option unless absolutely necessary. This is because the more recipients an email has, the more likely a higher contamination rate will occur.

To optimize the browsing experience, it is advisable to close all tabs that are not currently being used in the browser. This can be done by simply clicking on the "x" located in the upper right corner of the tab. In doing so, You can free up computer memory and processing power, which can result in a smoother and faster browsing experience.

If you like listening to music, it is possible to download the songs you like the most. It's worth noting that downloading music for offline consumption has a lower environmental impact than streaming it online.

To reduce the size of email attachments, it is recommended that you compress the files before sending them.

To reduce data usage on your phone, it is recommended disable automatic video downloads and automatic app updates and cloud backups. It is worth noting that the latter represents a significant 10% of data consumption on smartphones.

Problems of how much the cloud pollutes the environment

areas where they are stored

OBS Business School sustainability professor May López states that “The problem is that today we are using it incorrectly. Digitization is necessary, but we do not know how to execute it well. "We are not doing it efficiently." The professor advocates educating to make better use of these tools instead of criminalizing them altogether: "We are beginning to see that clouds are also physical."

Air pollution kills 45.000 people in Spain every year so it is essential that these data centers use renewable energy. Greenpeace published the “Clicking Clean” report in 2017, which scored companies in this regard. Apple tops the list because 83% of the energy it uses is clean, compared to 22% and 17% for companies like HBO or Netflix, respectively.

To reduce the personal impact, Professor recommends choosing a regular TV instead of a connected TV, sending files via a link instead of a file, and using the camera less frequently during calls. "Usually there are two people talking and fifteen people watching, and those people can turn off the camera without the intervention reducing the quality." She also gives tips such as prioritizing internal messaging systems over email, deleting emails regularly (rather than storing them endlessly), and using USBs or hard drives to share documents.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about how much the cloud pollutes the environment.

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