Episode 74 – How to Reduce Your Digital Carbon Footprint


We have less than 8 years to save the planet.

It’s a pretty depressing statistic.

According to the 2021 United National Climate Report, changes to the global climate are intensifying rapidly.

So it got me thinking.

How much carbon am I emitting from my digital activity?

Then I thought you would like to know more about this topic too.

So, as we all try to positively contribute to climate change, I’m asking the question in today’s episode, how can we reduce our digital carbon footprint?

Stay tuned to episode 74 to find out:

  • > What is the real impact of digital carbon on climate?
  • > What contributes to a digital carbon footprint?
  • > How can we mitigate our contribution?

Column | The True Impact of our Digital Carbon Footprint

Many climate experts say we have eight years left, until 2030, before we begin to hit a tipping point from which there may be no return to save our planet.

The answer is to reduce our carbon footprint, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions dramatically.

What is the true impact of our digital carbon footprint?

50 million tons of electronic waste are generated every year – which is equal to 1,000 laptops thrown away every second – only 12.5% of which is recycled.

Consulting | 5 Ways to Reduce your Digital Carbon Footprint

Ecowatch suggests ways to reduce our digital carbon footprint.

If you don’t know what your baseline is, why not consider getting a digital carbon audit?

#1 Reduce Ewaste

Resist the need the upgrade your digital devices with every company update: smartphones or computers.

Did you know that many products are deliberately manufactured to work for only a certain amount of time – a phenomenon called “planned obsolescence” – and to be difficult to fix on your own.

#2 Power Down 
When you are away from your computer or not using your device, turn off the power. Another great tip is to turn down the brightness on your device which also cuts down on electricity use. Dimming the display to 70% can save nearly 20% of the energy used by a monitor.


#3 Clean our Cloud Space
‘Your cloud space is almost full’ – how often do you get this notification? It’s a sign it’s time to clean out your cloud space.

ArcServe say that 100 zettabytes of data – one of which is equal to a trillion gigabytes – will be stored in the cloud by 2025 and housed in data centres, which are popping up all over the world.

So what can we do to play our part?

Do a spring clean on your cloud services periodically – I use Google Drive and Dropbox – and delete files you no longer need.

Conduct the same process at work, and have your team approve a clean-out of mutual folders that contain unnecessary or outdated files. Store data locally on your device, or move files you don’t access often to an external hard drive.


#4 Limit Livestreaming 

This is a tough one!

60% of Internet traffic comes from videos streamed on platforms such as YouTube and Netflix.

According to The Shift Project – a French think tank – 300 million tons of carbon dioxide are generated from watching videos every year, which equates to about 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions.


#5 Less Emails 

‘You send too many emails!’ That’s what Sophie Sweeney tells me. So, I need to work on sending less emails and skipping the pleasantries!

Did you know that sending an email is more environmentally sustainable than delivering a physical letter, and uses only 1.7% of the energy. It does, however, still come at a cost.

Every email (taking into account all the processes behind hitting send) equates to carbon emissions: 0.3 grams of CO2 for a spam email, 4g for a regular email, and 50g for an email with a photo attached.

Putting this into perspective, driving a car a little over half a mile produces roughly equivalent emissions to sending 65 emails. One estimate
found that, if every adult in the United Kingdom sent one fewer email per day (such as a simple “thank you,” or other unnecessary responses), 16,433 tons of carbon could be saved every year: the equivalent of taking 3,334 cars off the road.

VoxPop | What is the Public View about Digital Carbon Footprint?

I went out onto the streets of Galway to see if there is an appetite to reduce digital carbon footprints. So have a listen and better understand how public views affect your communications approach.


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Thank You for Listening!

Thank you for tuning into episode #74 to find out How to Reduce your Digital Carbon Footprint.  If you are a regular listener, please rate and review our show.

Don’t forget to get in touch with your questions. I love hearing from my listeners, don’t be a social media stranger. Tweet me at @JSTweetsDigital

If you would like to be a guest on the show, please get in touch. Email Joanne at [email protected].

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to The Public Sector Marketing Show or your preferred podcast platform.


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