Calculate your digital energy consumption
Carbonalyser is a digital footprint calculator offered as an internet add-on or a mobile application [in French]. It was created by The Shift Project to make people aware of the electrical energy used by their web activity and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated. Some equivalent activities are given based on other daily actions, such as charging a phone or making a car trip.
I tested the tool to get a better idea of my energy consumption. To do so, I divided my experiment into 2 steps:
- I searched the internet for 5 hours. I had 11 webpage tabs and 1 YouTube tab open.
- Then, I left these tabs open all night long (computer set to sleep mode). My objective was to see the difference in consumption when we are active or inactive.
Here are the results:
The 5-hour active research generated 42 g of CO2.
After nearly 20 hours of inactivity, the equivalent of an additional 102 g of CO2 was generated. The total now equals 144 g of CO2.
What about you? What are your results?
Strategies to reduce your energy consumption
Several strategies can be put into place to reduce our energy consumption. It doesn’t mean we need to eliminate technology from our life, but analyze how it is being used.
Here are some strategies to reduce digital pollution related to our pedagogical practices:
- Choose the right digital tool by evaluating its educational relevance and its added value. For example:
- Why should we use an interactive whiteboard if this tool is not a pedagogical asset to the students?
- Is it necessary to import an existing PowerPoint into a Genially presentation?
- Keep using paper: it’s still an option! There is no need to switch everything to digital technology. Some activities work quite well on paper if the digital technology does not bring a pedagogical added value. For example:
- Students can create a mind map on paper and then upload it on the course website.
- Reduce the use of videos. For example:
- Choose audio files whenever possible.
- Do not make your students turn on their camera during an online class or meeting.
- Do not broadcast a video on the students’ individual screen if it’s possible to watch it on the interactive whiteboard.
Here are some strategies to reduce digital pollution on a personal level:
- Sort out your online and offline files.
- Delete your unused files (obsolete PDFs, multimedia files in triplicate, etc.) and empty the recycle bin.
- The same principle applies to your mailbox (sort out and delete emails).
- Use cloud storage only when necessary. Use the computer’s hard drive or an external hard drive to store your files.
- While collaborating, choose a shared document instead of many copies of the same document.
- Rethink your emails.
- Given an appropriate context, choose a more energy-efficient way of communication, such as instant messaging.
- Do not send large files as email attachments or use a file compressor website.
- Do not choose the option “Reply all” when it’s not necessary. (If the mailing list includes 50 people, it is equivalent to sending 50 emails!)
- Have an eco-friendly signature by not adding a picture.
- Delete your unused email mailboxes. They keep receiving emails.
- Change the way you use the internet.
- Close unused windows and tabs.
- Use Wi-Fi or a wired connection. It uses less data than the cellular network.
- Use search engines as little as possible. Access the site directly by typing the name of the site in the address bar or by using your bookmarks. Choose an eco-friendly search engine such as Ecosia.
- Reduce unnecessary energy-consuming usage.
- Turn off your device instead of simply setting it to sleep mode.
- Do not purchase a new device as soon as a new model is out on the market.
- Use the energy-saving mode on your device.
What do you think of these strategies? Are you already doing your part?