How to reduce your online carbon footprint

The internet is a power hungry beast. Every time you search, browse or store something online there is a hidden carbon cost. If you would like to reduce your online carbon footprint there are three main areas you can make quick and easy improvements in.

Your website

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.

My homepage is cleaner than 67% 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.  All the sites I host are hosted on servers that use 100% renewable energy. It is the single biggest improvement you can make for your site. Better yet the improvement comes without changing a single line of code! 

Your Inbox

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. If you use Gmail or similar you basically have unlimited storage. If an email pops into your inbox you might 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 messages in your inbox start adding up. Take a few minutes to delete them. You’ll get a nice warm feeling from a cleaner inbox too!

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. 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.

In Summary

So there you have it. Three easy ways of reduce your online carbon footprint.

  • If you run a website, check where it is hosted.
  • If you have an inbox, get rid of those unwanted emails.
  • If you have a question, use Ecosia, not google

Want to know more? Get in touch