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Your Internet Use is A Leading Cause of Pollution and Global Warming

web servers cause internet pollution

Just because our technology is improving does not mean we have moved past our old limitations. Our technology is better and our production speed has increased, but we still largely run on the old inefficient energy source, fossil fuels.

It has been at least 1 million years since carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have been this high, according to some scientists. With us burning more and more fossil fuels every year, climate change is rearing its ugly head.

The Negative Environmental Impact of Unhealthy Internet Use

It has been reported that there are over 4 billion internet users worldwide using over 9 billion smartphones and computers. Virtually everyone is online [Pun Intended] and leaving a very heavy carbon footprint behind. Millions of web hosting servers are needed worldwide to support this shift in numbers, and those servers need to draw power from the grid.

If you were unaware, our power grids get electricity from power plants, most of which run on fossil fuels. The energy servers draw impacts our atmosphere immensely. In a year, one server produces more carbon dioxide than a car. In fact, each one of the millions of web hosting servers produces about 1400 pounds of carbon dioxide each year and the amount of servers we have is expected to keep growing! Web hosting is set to pass the airline industry in pollution levels in less than 2 years.

Everyday actions as simple as sending emails, surfing the internet, or storing data in the cloud are a real threat to the environment. Doing a simple search on Google emits the equivalent of 5 to 7 grams of CO2.

You probably know not to leave the light on when you’re away. But has anyone ever told you to delete emails you do not need anymore to save energy? Probably not! And yet removing 30 emails is equivalent to saving 24 hours of consumption of a light bulb!

One of the main forms of internet pollution is called “dormant pollution” and is caused by the storage of emails. The carbon cost of an email with a 1 MB attachment is 19 grams of CO2. It may seem pretty small but if we consider the number of emails sent in the world, the situation quickly becomes more substantial. In one hour, more than twelve billion emails are sent, representing more than 251,326 tons of CO2.

By unsubscribing from newsletters that you do not read or deleting old email accounts, you limit your carbon footprint. For each email that you no longer receive, you avoid the emission of about 10 grams of CO2. This can be substantial since we can receive hundreds of newsletters every month.

Green Web Hosting Servers

When creating a web site or switching hosts for a site you already own, it is imperative to consider what impact it will have on the environment. You can choose to host your site with an environmentally friendly web hosting company and your website’s carbon footprint can be lowered, negated. With the right company, you could even reverse the carbon footprint of your website and other websites like yours.

green geeks web hosting

Green Geeks is a recognized EPA Green Power Partner and is the most eco-friendly web hosting service in existence today. They work with environmental foundations to purchase wind energy credits to put back into the grid three times the amount of energy they consume. In effect, Green Geeks not only wipes out their carbon footprint but they are also negating the carbon footprint of two additional companies of their size. This is in addition to already using energy efficient hardware housed in data centers which are designed to be environmentally friendly.

Your choice is important! If you are starting a new website or if you are thinking about switching your web hosting to another provider, please learn about the environmental impact of the web hosting industry and what contribution to that impact that your website makes.

Green Geeks’ specially engineered hosting platform offers shared, reseller, VPS, and WordPress hosting designed to fit your every need.

Visit GreenGeeks Today!

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Sadly, the use of fossil fuels isn’t being replaced and it should be, basically because of greed. There is too much money on the line to cut out fossil fuels, and I can’t see it changing any time soon.

    1. This is true, but don’t forget that they only keep fossil fuels going because we’re the ones that keep paying for it. Making an immediate switch is highly unlikely, but one step at a time. Everyone should not worry so much about the big companies and just be the change.

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