Your Internet browsing leads to greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions

What’s the occasion for such geeky title?

Tester’s Day and Programmers Day! Best wishes to you all.

Using the celebration time, I would like to pint out the matters that bother me for some time: greenhouse gas emission, electricity consumption, ecology and the care for our planet in general.

Do you remember this old-fashioned message at the bottom of each email that we started to put in the email footer to prevent it from ruining forests? It was the time when people discovered that there is no point in using printed messages, when we can exchange them virtually.

This step pro-nature was great and changed people’s way of thinking.

A letter was no longer a hand-written piece of paper, that requires a post to be delivered, it started to be easy, quick and accessible in real-time for all internet users.

On the other hand, with the growing networks of friends, or employees in the companies we work in, the need for easy, but sometimes pointless communication, flourished and become our daily routine.

When a vintage letter was sent over to a person, it usually consisted of important news, documents or an ask for some action. Today, on our private accounts, we receive multiple email messages advertising something, informing about events we don’t need or form people we don’t know. At work, it is even worst. Sometimes I have the impression that HR departments, in their goodwill, sent multiple emails to LITERALLY everybody in the company’s mailboxes due to information about some events or actions we don’t need or don’t care about.

It wouldn’t be so bad, if it was just a matter of bothering people – we all have a SPAM folder for it.

Today though, I would like you to take a look at the completely different angle of sending out tons of spam. Electricity.

80% of the energy consumed in the world comes from fossil fuels, and CO2 accounts for the great majority of our greenhouse gas emissions. Electricity is not a magic power that runs computer – it has it’s the very concrete source in the ground – no matter if we use coal, gas or any other fuel to produce it. Where is the connection between sending emails TO ALL and electricity? Think twice.

Pointless emails are not the only sources of wasting electricity. there are web resources, such as videos, pictures, hi-tech content, that use more energy than any old website would. The more fireworks you have on your website – the more energy it consumes. The more people watch it – the more greenhouse gasses fly to the atmosphere. It is really sad, because each of us would like to be modern and hi-tech, would like to have the best websites they can and be the most influential. What we need to remember is that the price for it is high.

The same is with our modern needs – constant browsing. The more you browse – the more energy it takes. Not only at the tour end, but definitely at the end of all those poor servers, which host your favorite websites and services. I know that this is how the modern world works, but I also think that this is something that we don’t think much about. When we scroll Facebook feed – we sometimes think that it consumes (wastes) our time – not necessarily that it consumes piles of bytes and energy.

To learn more about climate change and IT impact, I encourage you to check your website’s impact on the environment, using Firefox addon – Carbonalyser. I also encourage you to write fewer emails and just in really important matters. just be kind to our Planet.

In case of any comments – go to the comment section below or stalk me on Twitter, and yes, I’ve removed my Facebook account. This is my little step.


Published by Kinga Witko

Author, Blogger, QA specialist, Agile Tester, cruelty-free. Sugar - free food lover.

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