Less dirty on the Internet, easy and free: here’s how

News hardware Less dirty on the Internet, easy and free: here’s how

It may make you cringe, but yes the Internet pollutes more than you can imagine. Whether it’s professional email or a 4K movie on Netflix, every time you refresh a web page, you’re consuming energy in a data center hundreds or even thousands of kilometers away. distance. But there are some simple tricks to reduce its effect.


  • What pollutes the Internet the most?
  • How to be less polluted on the Internet quickly?
    • Internet connection
    • Streaming content
    • Mass shipping

What pollutes the Internet the most?

When surfing the Internet, you can’t imagine the technical logistics behind loading a web page. This includes the energy consumption of power data centers and other servers. All this creates indirect pollution that goes unnoticed. We can only imagine the pollution of the things in our hands. Although this pollution is greater than that of the Web, it cannot be ignored. But it is difficult to know what pollutes the most in our daily consumption.

To find out what pollutes the most, you need to look at what requires the most resources. So it’s heavy content, like streaming for example. This sector is responsible for 60% of Internet data flows. To quantify its consumption, it produces 300 million tons of CO2 per year just by streaming. In concrete terms, this represents 1% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Companies are also the biggest polluters of the Web. A website needs to be hosted on a server to work. Without forgetting that the number of users also influences the consumption and therefore the size of the server. In Guillaume Pitron’s book, digital hell, he explained that the data shared on the Internet should be multiplied by 46 in 2035. Energy consumption is fortunately not increasing proportionally. The larger a server is, the less it uses per byte of data. Technological progress, but also that servers are less and less energy consuming. Unfortunately, they often use force and it is up to us, the consumer, to know some simple actions.

Internet connection

Let’s start with the basics of Internet data consumption. Access to the Web can be done through different types of connection: WiFi, 4G / 5G or wired via Ethernet. It is best to always favor a wired connection for the Internet. In the second place, we find WiFi, followed by the most powerful consumption, 4G / 5G. Cellular data uses 23 times more energy than a traditional WiFi connection.

Streaming content

By watching a video on a streaming platform from your smartphone, it is strongly recommended to lower the quality to 720p for example. Reduce your consumption and hardly notice the difference. A great example of demonstrating the power of the masses. If 70 million users make this move, it represents a 10% reduction in pollution in the French energy industry.

The second point is to download content rather than streaming it. Live, consumption is higher, because it requires frequent updates between the server and your device.

Mass shipping

Individually an email does not weigh much on average, it depends on whether it has an attachment and its size. It is the number of emails that weigh heavily on energy consumption.

So the first piece of advice is to delete all the useless, advertising, newsletter or spam emails you receive. This will greatly ease the mail servers. Without even realizing it, over the years, a mailbox accumulates a lot of data. Also remember to unsubscribe from newsletters you no longer follow. Just click “unsubscribe” at the bottom of the emails.

When sending an email, it is possible to make a gesture. The shorter the message, the less weight it has. Sending two emails to say what one has to say also consumes a lot of data. Also, when sending an attachment, promote the download link, It is less energy consuming than direct attachment.

With these few basic tips, it will have a positive effect on our online data consumption.

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