It’s not the first thing many of us think about when we start looking at our carbon emissions, but when you take time to look at the data, our digital footprint is one that can have a big impact on our overall footprint.
The digital world is a major contributor to climate change. The energy used to power our devices, store our data, and stream our content is having a significant impact on the environment.
So what can you do to decarbonise your digital storage? By following these tips, you can help to decarbonise your digital storage and make a difference for the planet.
Extend the life of your digital devices
Resist the urge to upgrade to the latest and greatest gadget every year. Instead, take care of your devices and they’ll last longer. When you do need to replace a device, try to buy one that is energy-efficient.
- Regularly clean and dust your devices. This will help to keep them running smoothly and prevent them from overheating.
- Update your software regularly. Software updates often include bug fixes and performance improvements that can help to extend the life of your device.
- Avoid dropping or damaging your devices. Accidents can cause damage that can shorten the lifespan of your device.
- Back up your data regularly. This will help you to recover your data if your device fails.
Power down your devices when you’re not using them.
Any device that has a plug draws power. Leaving devices plugged in when they’re not in use can waste energy.
- Unplug your devices when they’re not in use. This includes laptops, smartphones, tablets, and even chargers. Even when devices are turned off, they can still use energy if they’re plugged in.
- Use a power strip or surge protector with an on/off switch. This will allow you to easily power down multiple devices at once.
- Invest in smart plugs. Using wifi-enabled power smart plugs controls the flow of electricity to connected devices. Once set up, you can control a smart plug from a companion app on your phone or tablet or from a smart speaker or display.
- Set your devices to sleep or hibernate mode when you’re not using them. This will help to reduce the amount of energy they use.
Use cloud storage sparingly
Storing data in the cloud requires energy, so try to only use it for files that you don’t need to access regularly. Instead, store important files locally on your device or on an external hard drive.
If your data is being hosted on a cloud server that is powered by fossil fuels then you’re going to have a much larger footprint than one that uses renewal energy…. the more you store, the bigger the footprint…Speak to your storage host, and ask if your data is stored on servers that are powered using renewable energy? If not, ask them if they have options for you to move to a more sustainably powered server.
- Only store files in the cloud that you don’t need to access regularly. This includes things like photos, videos, and documents that you only need to access occasionally.
- Store important files locally on your device or on an external hard drive. This will ensure that you always have access to them, even if you don’t have an internet connection.
- Consider using a green cloud provider. Some cloud providers are more energy-efficient than others. When choosing a cloud provider, look for one that has a commitment to sustainability.
Choose a green cloud provider
Some data cloud providers are more energy-efficient than others. When choosing a provider, look for one that has a commitment to sustainability.
- Do your research. There are a number of cloud providers that have a commitment to sustainability. When choosing a cloud provider, look for one that has a transparent carbon footprint report and is taking steps to reduce its environmental impact.
- Ask questions. When contacting your provider, ask about their sustainability practices.
- Support green cloud providers. When you choose a green cloud provider, you’re helping to support businesses that are committed to sustainability.
Limit your streaming
Streaming videos and music uses a lot of energy. Try to limit your streaming to when you really need it. When you’re not streaming, close any tabs or programs that are using up bandwidth.
- Only stream videos and music when you really need to. If you can, watch videos or listen to music offline.
- Close any tabs or programs that you’re not using. This will help to reduce the amount of bandwidth that you’re using.
- Use a lower streaming quality. This will reduce the amount of data that you’re using and the amount of energy that’s required to stream the content.
Use renewable energy in the office
If you can, switch to renewable energy for your home or office. This will help to reduce the carbon emissions associated with your digital storage.
- Switch to renewable energy. This will help to reduce the carbon emissions associated with your digital storage.
- Support renewable energy projects. You can invest in renewable energy projects or donate to organisations that are working to promote renewable energy.
- Educate others about the importance of renewable energy. Talk to your friends, family, and colleagues about the benefits of renewable energy and encourage them to make the switch.
Here are some additional tips that you can consider:
Get a repair kit
If you have a device that breaks, try to fix it yourself instead of buying a new one. There are many resources available online and in libraries that can help you with repairs.
Donate or sell your old devices
If you’re no longer using a device, don’t just throw it away. Donate it to a local charity or sell it online. This will help to keep the device out of landfills and reduce its environmental impact.
Be mindful of your email habits
Think twice before sending an email. Do you really need to send that message? If you can, try to communicate with people in person or over the phone instead.
By making small changes to our digital habits, we can make a big difference for the environment. So let’s all do our part to decarbonise our digital storage!