Towards A Greener Internet: Resolving Digital Carbon Emissions

carbon emissions
Image Credits: Unsplash

Eating a wholesome meal of meat? Do you know that with every bite you’re harming the environment? Yes, the production of meat leads to pollution as it does with the usage of plastic, putting your electronics on charging and travelling in cars, buses or flights. Our everyday usage of energy that causes carbon emissions measures our carbon footprint.

Every time we walk out to the nearest park, the grass that we slouch on comforts us, the clouds raining on us allow us to set free and dance to its music, the sky over our heads stretching to an unmeasurable length paints the beautiful sunsets we yearn to see and yet we fail to protect the one thing that makes us feel home.

We are well familiarised with our carbon footprint, and each of us, although carrying guilt still continues to harm the environment. Household or economic, goods or services, footprint or fingerprint, there is no limit to how much carbon emissions we can provoke.

Never heard about the effects of your fingerprint? Your footprint emits a huge amount of carbon every day, but your fingerprint does it every second. Every second that you tap on your phone screen, scroll mindlessly on social media, shop online or even read the news on your phone, it leads to tremendous amounts of carbon emissions. The internet which is an inseparable part of our lives today works on a large infrastructural system of data centres, networks, cables and satellites and to run all of these requires a heavy quantity of energy. These connections are running 24/7 without a break and with the growing online use, a lot more after Covid-19, they have caused massive damage to our environment.

It leaves you shocked when you look around yourself, earphones connected, scrolling on social media or watching something, you would find every person immersed in the world of their devices. We’ve forgotten to blink, forget noticing how much carbon emissions we allow for. It has become so convenient for us to plan impulsive online meetings; we no longer need to consult for timings and decide on a common place to reach that suits everyone. The newest to add to the depletion of our planet is Artificial Intelligence. Limiting human resources and labour, we are employing AI for our jobs. Although instantaneous in its responses, hours go by coordinating with it. What we are trying to measure here is not how fast AI is but how much we are depending on it, which is quite promptly affecting nature. There was a time we complained about the industries with heavy machines releasing greenhouse gases in the air, now it is the AI we embrace before we blame it for the pollution it causes. It poses a greater danger for the future because everything that makes our life easy, makes the survival of nature difficult.

Image Credits: Unsplash

Looking at the times ahead, we have little hope left in our hearts but within this scare is a company working towards this, ‘Carbon Fingerprint.’ Founded by Harrison Osterfield, Matt Bird and Will Owen, this initiative works to build a greener and safer internet. Three young men and an issue unknown to the world, this platform is built meticulously to calculate the carbon emissions from the usage patterns of your social media. Beyond getting educated on the numbers, it gives you the opportunity to invest in carbon removal projects. Most environmental services provide for carbon offsetting which is the reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases or increasing the storage for carbon but this company focuses on removing it altogether. Through their website and Instagram, you can get educated about how content creates carbon. They make social media a positively pure experience in the most climate-friendly way. Recognising that the internet produces more carbon than the aviation industry, such pursuits give the planet its lost nature.

It is imperative we educate ourselves on how toxic the device that we carry around is. Switching off your Wi-Fi services before you leave home, investing in companies like ‘Carbon Fingerprint’, making sure the switches are turned off once your devices are charged, being conscious when you’re scrolling on the net for the sake of it and choosing newspapers and books for reading instead of opting for it digitally could be our little bit to salvage our planet from the carbon emissions.

With every footprint, let’s walk to a greener world, with every fingerprint, let’s tap into a greener internet and with every soul, let’s build a greener life.


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