5 Things You Didn't Know About Your Internet Use and Energy

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Internet Use and Energy

Every day we make plenty of Google searches, watch our favourite YouTube videos and send numerous emails, but have you ever considered how much energy your internet searches use? Here at Climateq, we have been doing some research about how much energy your internet habits use, and we have found some very interesting facts that we’d love to share with you!

One Google search is equal to turning on a 60W light bulb for 17 seconds

On average, there are over 3.5 million Google searches conducted per day (check out this amazing live tracker here!) making it by far the world’s most popular search engine. Just one of these Google searches can power a 60W light bulb for 17 seconds, plus Google have also said that it spends about 0.0003 kWh of energy on an average search query which translates to around 0.2g of carbon dioxide. Just one simple search is responsible for quite a lot of pollution!

Google accounts for about 40% of the internet’s carbon footprint

Although this statistic seemed shocking at first, when looking into the amount of powerful data behind the internet it actually does make a lot of sense. The internet relies on millions of physical servers around the world, which connect to various data centers that require a lot of energy to run. As much of this energy comes from power sources that emit carbon dioxide, then of course the internet’s most popular website would naturally be responsible for a large amount of the internet’s carbon emissions.

Over 64 million ‘unnecessary’ emails are sent every day in the UK, resulting in nearly 23,500 unnecessary tonnes of carbon a year

Next time you’re about to send an unactionable email such as “thanks”, “have a good weekend” or “cheers”, make sure to consider the environmental impact. A study by OVO Energy titled Think Before You Thank’ found that if every UK adult sent one less “thank you” email a day, we would save over 16,433 tonnes of carbon each year - the same as 81,1522 flights from London to Madrid or taking 33,343 diesel cars off the road! We will definitely be sending less one-word emails from now on.

One minute of global YouTube streams releases as much carbon dioxide as leaving one light bulb on for a year

On average, 4,200,000 YouTube streams are made globally in a single minute which can release as much carbon dioxide as leaving a 100-watt light bulb on for an entire year. To minimise your carbon footprint when it comes to video streaming, always use WiFi over 3G or 4G and head to the video settings to turn on power resolution options.

Our internet use means we are each responsible for 400g (14oz) of carbon dioxide a year

Although this statistic isn’t entirely accurate as other factors such as location, employment and lifestyle will affect your internet usage, it’s still made us think about how we can make small changes in our internet habits to help protect the environment. It is estimated that the carbon footprint of our internet use, gadgets, and supporting systems are responsible for about 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions, so if everyone made some slight adaptations to their digital activity we could make some big changes.

Have these facts surprised you and are you looking to make an environmental change in your lifestyle or workplace? Get in touch with us - we love talking to like-minded people and businesses!

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