Digital Sobriety: reduce the carbon footprint of your digital uses?

by Filevert Monday, May 8, 2023 - 21:28

In this article, we present the best strategies for limiting your digital footprint and contributing to a sustainable digital economy. Find out how to reduce your data and energy consumption, as well as tips for using eco-responsible tools. Together, we can make a difference and preserve our planet while enjoying the benefits of the digital world.

 

Understand carbon footprint and digital sobriety with a few concrete examples


The digital sobriety is essential to minimize the environmental impact of the digital technologies that are omnipresent in our daily lives.

Every use of an electronic device, every query on a search engine, every e-mail sent contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. It has therefore become essential to adopt more sober practices in our daily use of digital technology;

Let's take the time to understand the carbon footprint of digital technology, so that we can act accordingly and reduce our impact on the environment. Here are a few concrete examples to illustrate the digital footprint:

 

Some examples to understand the digital footprint

  • Search engine :

    Every search performed on platforms such as Google contributes to your digital footprint, as the data is stored on their servers.

  • Artificial intelligence and language models :

    According to estimates by Dessa, an AI company, a 30-minute conversation with GPT-3 generates around 1.4 kg of CO2, equivalent to the production of a standard 1.5-liter plastic bottle.

  • Social networks :

    Regular use of social networks, such as posting messages, uploading photos and videos, and interacting with other users, contributes to your digital footprint.

  • E-mails:

    The e-mails you send and receive also have an impact on your digital footprint. Large attachments also increase this footprint due to their size.

  • Streaming :

    The online video and music streaming services you use to watch or listen to online content also contribute to your digital footprint, especially if you opt for high video quality or extended music streaming.

  • Online file storage:

    Online storage also has a considerable digital footprint. Data stored in services such as Google Drive, Dropbox and iCloud are hosted in data centers that consume a significant amount of energy in continuous operation. In addition, the manufacture of hard disks and computer servers requires rare materials such as platinum, nickel and gold, which have an environmental impact when extracted and transported.

It is therefore particularly recommended to reduce the amount of data stored online and opt for local storage options where possible. 

As digital users, we have a responsibility to engage in environmentally friendly practices and to share these good practices with others. By following these tips and adopting a thoughtful, sustainable approach, we can all contribute to a greener digital economy and preserve our planet for future generations.

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The environmental consequences of digital uses

The development of digital technology also has a significant environmental impact. Servers, datacenters and IT equipment consume enormous amounts of energy, generating a significant carbon footprint. According to a study by Ademe, the digital sector accounts for around 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The main environmental consequences of digital uses are:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the energy consumption of servers and datacenters.
  • The extraction and production of materials needed to manufacture electronic equipment.
  • Pollution generated by the processing and recycling of electronic waste.

Strong>digital sobriety is an approach that aims to limit the environmental impact of digital technology by promoting the reasoned and efficient use of available digital tools.
 

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Sobriété numérique : quelques astuces en plus de FileVert

Acting for digital sobriety and reducing your digital carbon footprint involves reflecting on your digital practices and adopting eco-gestures in your use of technologies.
 

  • Limit your data consumption

    Understand the environmental impact of the digital services you use and adopt responsible digital habits.

  • Reduce video streaming quality

    Choose standard definition over high definition to reduce your data consumption and your digital carbon footprint.
     
  • Avoid unnecessary downloads

    Limit downloads of large files and software you don't need to save data and energy.
     
  • Control automatic updates

    Set your update preferences to perform them manually, which limits data and energy consumption.
     
  • Opt for lightweight applications

    Use applications designed to be resource-efficient, reducing your data and energy consumption.
     
  • Limit your use of social networks

    Social networks are data- and energy-hungry, so limit your use and favor face-to-face interactions.

Sobriété numérique : allons plus loin avec nos équipements

  • Turn off or put on standby your digital equipment

When you're not using them, remember to switch off your digital equipment (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.) or put them on standby. These devices consume energy even when they're not in use, contributing to an increase in your digital carbon footprint. By switching off your equipment or putting it on standby, you can save energy and reduce your environmental impact.

Tips: Turn off or put on standby your digital equipment to reduce your environmental impact and your digital carbon footprint.

  • Favor durable equipment

When it comes to renewing your digital equipment, consider eco-designed, durable models. This equipment is designed to limit its environmental impact, whether through manufacturing, energy consumption or recycling. By choosing these models, you can reduce your digital carbon footprint and participate in the transition to a more responsible digital world.

Tips: Opt for sustainable, eco-designed and responsible equipment to reduce your digital carbon footprint and promote a more responsible digital lifestyle.

  • Opt for second-hand or refurbished

Buying new electronic equipment can be very costly for your wallet and for the environment. The production of this equipment uses raw materials, energy and non-renewable resources, which can have a negative impact on the environment. However, there is an alternative: buying second-hand or reconditioned equipment;

Tips: Buy used or reconditioned equipment to reduce the environmental impact of producing new electronic equipment.

  • Choose eco-responsible digital services and show sobriety

Today, many digital services offer more eco-friendly options for their users. For example, some online storage providers offer eco-responsible hosting, using servers powered by renewable energy or offsetting their carbon footprint.

Tips: Opt for eco-responsible digital services that use servers powered by renewable energy and offset your digital carbon footprint.

In addition to choosing eco-responsible services, you can also consider using ad-blocking tools and online trackers, which also reduce your data consumption and therefore your digital carbon footprint.

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In short, how to reduce and control your digital carbon footprint

  • Adopt digital sobriety by limiting energy consumption and optimizing digital habits.
     
  • Promote eco-design by using reconditioned, eco-labeled products and favoring energy-efficient computer hardware.
     
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by opting for responsible digital strategies and favoring open-source software.
     
  • Manage data efficiently by avoiding overconsumption, deleting unnecessary folders and files and favoring electronic document sharing.
     
  • Optimize the use of digital equipment by activating the "energy saving mode" and choosing ink-saving fonts when printing.
     
  • Promote the repair and reuse of digital devices to extend their lifespan and reduce the consumption of natural resources.
     
  • Raise digital users' awareness of best practices and ecologically virtuous digital uses.
     
  • Regularly assess the company's environmental footprint and implement a responsible digital strategy that takes environmental impacts into account.
     
  • S'rely on the Green-IT reference framework to guide choices and actions aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of information technologies.


Creating a sustainable digital future through positive action

Many initiatives have been launched to promote a sustainable digital economy. By supporting these actions and adopting concrete measures, we can reduce our digital carbon footprint.

Digital sobriety is essential to limiting our environmental impact. By reducing our data consumption, using eco-designed and sustainable equipment, favoring second-hand equipment and adopting a responsible use of digital services, we contribute to reducing our carbon footprint.

There are also alternatives to polluting digital services and eco-responsible solutions. By supporting these initiatives, we are promoting a more responsible digital world.

By acting collectively to reduce our digital carbon footprint, we preserve the environment for future generations. Together, we can make a significant difference.

 

 

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