Digital Pollution: 10 Scary Figures

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Digital pollution was, and still is, a misunderstood term. Yet it is responsible for a large part of the planet’s CO2 emissions. You have probably been taught to never leave the light on in an unused room when you were there.

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But have you ever been taught to delete the emails you don’t need so as not to waste energy? Probably not!  And yet deleting 30 emails is equivalent to saving 24 hours of light bulb consumption! The numbers about  digital pollution are frightening.

Also read: Digital pollution : emails and carbon emissions

Digital pollution should not be underestimated…

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  1. 10%: share of electricity consumed by data centers in France
  2. 2020: the first year in which digital pollution exceeded that of civil aviation
  3. 4%: share of global CO2 emissions attributable to digital pollution. In five years, it will be 6%
  4. 7g: CO2 emission produced by a Google search
  5. 30 deleted emails: this is equivalent to the consumption of a light bulb turned on for 24 hours
  6. 60%: percentage of emails never opened
  7. 33: average number of emails sent per day by an employee of a company with less than 100 employees in France. 33 emails of 1 MB to two recipients per day would produce 180 kg of CO2 per year, the equivalent of 1,000 km travelled by car
  8. 19 g: CO2 emission of an email with a 1-megabyte attachment
  9. 34 million: number of emails sent every hour (excluding spam). The equivalent of 14 tons of oil
  10. 431,166,240: number of kilos of CO2 emitted per hour due to e-mails. Try to pronounce this mind-boggling figure in less than 5 seconds!

How to fight against internet pollution?

Fortunately, there are simple gestures to fight against the ecological impact of the Internet. Greenpeace has published a report in 2015 entitled “Clicking Clean” which presents the initiatives and actions to adopt to make the Internet less polluting and try to reduce the CO2 emissions it generates.

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