From recycling our wardrobes to raising money for good causes, the internet has transformed the way we understand the world, and it’s never been easier to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle. Through websites and online forums, we can now not only learn about the major global issues affecting our planet, but the everyday suggestions and solutions that will help reduce our carbon-footprint and spread the word about green living. So, whether it be through reading green cleaning tips online, or simply changing your internet provider, here we present the 5 easiest and most effective ways the internet can help YOU go green:
The information age
Undeniably the internet’s greatest benefit is the abundance of information and resources, globally available at the touch of a button. Such ease and accessibility has opened up our planet and introduced an active and engaged global community. This connection to others not only facilitates the sharing of knowledge and resources, but encourages an understanding and responsibility for the world as a whole. Bought a great ecological product? Like their social media sites and share the link with friends. Discovered a fantastic eco-friendly travel business? Rate their website and review them on TripAdvisor. Got a handy green cleaning tip up your sleeve? Share it on forums or with friends online. Because there’s now no excuse for ignorance, and no reason not to learn from others and pass on what we know ourselves.
Video conferences & emails
Remote working is more popular than ever and, thanks to recent advances in technology, a far more viable option for both employees and employers. Going paperless has already significantly reduced company costs and energy expenditure, and now emails have been joined by video and voice technology to further reduce the carbon footprint of our business communications. Interviews, meetings and conferences are regularly held online, often across continents, reducing the number of cars on the road, business flights and commuters across the board.
Collaboration & Crowdsourcing
Today, traditional doorstep fundraising techniques have largely been sidelined in favour of more modern concepts such as crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing, also known as crowdfunding, works on the principle that more heads are better than one. Different crowdsourcing platforms work in different ways, and there are a number of companies helping entrepreneurs to make their business visions a reality. The scale of funding needed to prevent climate change is staggering and this is where crowdfunding comes in. Collaboration is a big buzz-word in the world of sustainability and, through crowdfunding, every little really does help.
Downloading digital books, music, movies and documents not only cuts down on the production of physical resources, but spares the emission of greenhouse gases throughout the supply chain. By avoiding the process of manufacturing, packaging and distribution, digital downloads can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40 to 80 percent, compared to making physical copy – this percentage is at its highest when downloaded directly onto the device.
Unfortunately the internet itself leaves a rather nasty carbon footprint, releasing around 300m tonnes of CO2 a year. However, by choosing energy efficient models, opting for green internet service providers and ensuring we shut down our computers or put them into sleep mode when not in use, we can significantly reduce these greenhouse gas emissions and move toward the sole use of renewable alternative energy sources for data centres and cloud services.