How to limit your environmental impact ?
According to the Green IT collective, digital technology currently generates 3.8% of the world’s greenhouse gases. It also consumes 4.2% of the energy produced internationally. According to Ademe, this carbon footprint is likely to double by 2025 with the intensification of uses.
However, you can reduce the ecological impact of this technology through simple everyday actions.
What is the’environmental impact of digital technology ?
Digital does not immediately evoke the deforestation and the pollutants like paper documents, packaging… So you don’t necessarily think about limit its environmental impact. Yet it reaches the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission rate of the world’s air transport, according to Green IT. On the other hand, its climate footprint is more complex and therefore not well known.
Despite its shortcomings, digital has a lot of potential significant potential. In particular, it allows to improve the management of waste and renewable energies. Indeed, this tool helps to organize the collection and recycling of garbage (vehicle fleets, automated sorting, processing units, etc.).).
It therefore helps to reduce the energy consumption of the actors of the circular economy.
On the other hand, digital technology contributes to the development of intelligent networks. They aim to limit energy losses and optimize the production and use of electricity. In concrete terms, the main objective is to eliminate consumption peaks in order to avoid the use of fossil fuel power plants.
Today, many suppliers prioritize the renewable energy sources. They only launch thermal units to meet punctual increases in network needs. In this context, digital technology allows you to eliminate peaks by managing the activation of certain electrical appliances (thermostat, air conditioning, etc.).).
The home automation The use of a computer is beginning to prove its worth in this area.
Finally, the use of new technologies gives the possibility toprocess optimization In many sectors, such as industry, transport, etc., it is necessary to reduce the amount of energy consumed. This evolution could eventually reduce the use of precious or sensitive raw materials, energy needs and CO2 emissions. In this case, the average consumer will find it more difficult to calculate his environmental impact.
In general, digitization contributes to reduce production costs and the operating costs of companies. The prices on the market should therefore progressively decrease for various products and services needed for daily use. However, such a situation risks encourage a less eco-responsible mode of consumption.
That said, the digital pollution currently represents the greatest threat linked to new technologies. The term encompasses all the negative effects of this type of equipment on nature. It also covers the clife cycle of the different components of the information systems (design, use and disposal).
Unlike other machined products, digital uses a relatively small volume of material in the manufacturing process. On the other hand, production requires large quantity of water, of chemical products and waterfossil fuels. Manufacturing a computer, for example, requires 1.2 tons of water, 240 kilograms of fuel and 22 kilograms of chemicals.
During the manufacturing process, digital technology generally involves the use of energyuse of rare earths and specific materials (silica, gallium, bismuth, germanium, etc.).). However, these products are often harmful for the environment and available in limited quantities. These non-renewable resources risk to be exhausted in the long term and to upset the balance of the ecosystem.
How to limit the environmental impact of your daily use of the Internet’Internet ?
Each Internet user can limit his environmental impact by adopting certain small virtuous gestures, starting with reducing your digital footprint. This approach consists globally in restricting the use of available digital tools to a minimum. This way, you will put less strain on your equipment and network infrastructure.
You can, for example, to relieve data centers by regularly cleaning your mailbox and by systematically eliminating spam. Indeed, the storage of unnecessary data implies an avoidable waste of energy in the servers. This also applies to your accounts on online backup platforms.
Besides, it is better to avoid using the Cloud on a daily basis. This initiative would indeed imply frequent exchanges with energy-consuming servers. In other words, limit its use to backup and restore systems. You may be able to store personal data precious or sensitive materials.
For the rest, prefer internal or external hard disks.
To mark your ecological commitment, you should also delay the end of life of the terminals used for the connection. The environmental impact of smartphones and computers is indeed concentrated in the manufacturing phase. Moreover, this step produces 103 kg out of the 156 kg of CO2 emissions of the life cycle of a PC, according to the agency of the ecological transition (Ademe).
In detail, it takes about 600 kg of raw materials to design a computer weighing about 2 kg. The manufacture of electronic parts has meanwhile mobilized considerable natural resources (ores, fuels, etc.) and is a major source of energy.). In addition, this type of transformation is recognized for its environmental friendliness energy consuming and its high water consumption.
Keeping the appliances usable will eventually affect the rate of this production.
The multiplication of connected objects also contributes to the increase of digital pollution, according to Green IT. Indeed, these devices often need a permanent connection for data recovery, even if they are not used. You must therefore reduce the environmental impact of connected objects to limit the ecological footprint of your Internet use.
To do this, Disconnect or turn off non-essential devices after use. This measure can be applied to various gadgets such as cups, water bottles or connected scales. On the other hand, energy-saving systems must remain active to limit the electricity consumption of your home.
You can limit your environmental impact.
On the other hand, reduce as much as possible the number of your connected equipments. You don’t need to use a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone and a connected watch at the same time. You can surely get rid of non-essential devices.
Finally, avoid underestimating the standby power consumption of the connected LED bulbs to gain in energy efficiency.