Did you ever consider that what you do on your daily basis can actually impact the world? You probably did, given that almost every city has some sort of recycling and that there are giant recycling bins which are meant for different types of materials. That being said, that is the more obvious way of impacting the environment. Some people turn vegan, because eating meat means supporting the meat industry and giant animal farms which also impact the world with their emissions.
What about something as simple as your internet habits. Did you ever think that they could impact the environment? They could, and here is how.
Streaming and Climate Change
Streaming is very popular and an easy way of getting access to entertainment of all sorts. Whether you want to watch the news or a sport of preference, or just binge watch TV shows, streaming can help you do it easily. People often turn to streaming when they cannot go outside for whichever reason, or to video games. Video games, if played offline, are an easy way of having little impact on the environment. Streaming, on the other hand, is much more resource heavy. When you stream, your computer decompresses data which it gets from the stream source. That stream source is a giant server which runs 24/7 and uses a lot of power.
Streaming for a single hour per week is equal to two fridges running for a year, if you were to run all three for an entire year. Consider that the next time you turn on your favorite streaming service.
Emails – They Have a Price
People don’t think about this, but every time you do something online, a server somewhere uses power. They usually lie dormant, like most technology nowadays, unless they are needed to do something. When you send an email. A server wakes up, so to speak, from its low power mode, and transfers your email to whoever you sent it to. The problem with this isn’t that people shouldn’t send emails, but rather that they should do so only when necessary. If you keep sending emails which are simple gestures of formality, you should consider stopping, because they impact the environment. A single country’s population could pollute the environment as much as about three thousand diesel cars in a year.
The Power Behind Online Services
This is a really important part of online streaming and your own part in that. Some streaming services use non-renewable energy sources. That often means fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are really bad for the environment. Not all companies, however, use fossil fuels or other non-renewable fuels as a means of powering their servers. Larger companies tend to innovate and keep the carbon footprint low, so you should stick by them, if you have to use streaming services in general.
Online Video Games – Not That Bad
Compared to other things like streaming, online video games aren’t as bad. They are much better because they only transmit data about the location of a certain player on an already pre built map. All the textures and graphics and physics-related stuff is stored on your computer or console. What remains is for the server to communicate your location and stats, as well as that of other players.
Now, remote playing of games, like Google Stadia, is a different story, one that consumes more power. Luckily, that is not close to being widespread due to huge latency issues.
Whether you game online or watch a lot of streams, and even listen to music, you should consider your stream choices and will your actions actually impact the environment, for better or worse.