How to reduce your carbon footprint – by changing the way you surf the internet!

Filed in Blog by on November 26, 2019 2 Comments
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reduce digital footprintWhen you think of reducing your carbon footprint, what actions spring to mind?

Flying less, using the car less, sourcing second hand items and growing your own food, perhaps. Or it might be bigger projects like replacing an old boiler to increase efficiency and therefore reduce carbon emissions or installing solar panels in your home to harness energy from the sun instead of burning fossil fuels.

But there’s something you’re doing right now that is contributing to your carbon footprint.

Right now you’re surfing the internet and reading this blog post – and it’s having a consequence.

In fact, every time you read a blog post, send an email, browse cute cat videos on YouTube or update your Facebook timeline, you are indirectly responsible for damaging the environment.

Shocking isn’t it?

When we think of how our digital lives impact the environment, we usually think of inbuilt obsolescence in smart phones, E-waste or mining for precious metals to put inside laptops. We rarely stop to consider our habits when surfing online.

It certainly got me thinking when I saw this short video, which really puts things into perspective:


The creators of the video are Viessmann, who supply energy efficient heating systems. As well as the video, they’ve written a thought provoking blog post which tells you more about the issue and have launched a social media campaign #TheCoalTruth. You can read their blog post here.

So how can we reduce our digital footprint when online? Well here are five ideas:

  • Turn off autoplay on YouTube, so you don’t end up three hours later still watching cute cat videos.
  • Make sure all your family know to switch off Netflix when they’ve finished catching up on their favourite episode instead of leaving it streaming. Many of us will have been bought up to turn off the TV when we leave the room (or am I just showing my age?!), so apply the same good habit to Netflix.
  • Ask yourself before sending an email, whether it’s really important. I receive so many ‘great, thanks’ emails which really annoy me because they are meaningless and unnecessary!
  • Do you need to like every post on your friend’s Facebook feed? And while you’re there, do you have to post up another selfie? or 100 photos of your holiday?
  • Consider your searches. And learn to search in a more savvy way so you get relevant results that count. You could also switch to a search engine like Ecosia that plants trees every time you browse.

How about you? What suggestions do you have?


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (2)

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  1. Julia King says:

    Oh. Shame on me. I’ve been aware of this since the dawn of email and muttered to people around me for many years (and receved many look sof bewilderment) but now I must to be more proactive in enlightening others. And act myself.

    • Mrs Green says:

      Same for me, Julia. Once I saw these facts I started unsubbing from newsletters that I no longer read. Every little helps, right? 🙂

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