May 4, 2022

What is the carbon footprint of the internet?

May 4, 2022

What is the carbon footprint of the internet?

May 4, 2022

With increased focus on the environmental problems we humans are imposing on the world around us – and ourselves – the impact of our use of the internet is starting to be taken into account.

Our maintenance and use of the internet accounts for 3.7 per cent of global emissions according to a report by The Shift Project, a non-profit think tank advocating the shift to a post-carbon economy.

This is the equivalent of all the world’s air traffic.

The carbon footprint of the internet can be calculated by measuring the energy needed to power the network itself, the usage of the devices that access it, plus that of the data centres and servers that accommodate all of its content.

A recent art installation created by Dutch artist Thijs Biersteker and entitled MB>CO2 “Uncovering the hidden impact of the internet” attempts to facilitate visualization of the damage we are in many cases unwittingly causing every day through our increased attachment to and usage of the internet.

The exhibit features a machine, developed by Thijs Bierstecker, which uses an algorithm to calculate the emissions associated with everyday activities and triggers the release of the corresponding amount of carbon dioxide gas into a terrarium containing various plants.

MB > CO2

When too much CO2 overwhelms the vegetation, the plants contained within the terrarium begin to wilt, providing a powerful, visual parallel to the effects we are having, but cannot normally see, through our daily usage of and reliance on the internet to communicate.

If you are looking for ways to reduce your environmental impact on the internet, take a look at the following link:

https://youmatter.world/en/reduce-environmental-impact-internet/https://youmatter.world/en/reduce-environmental-impact-internet/

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