Your Digital Footprint: Staying Energy Efficient Online

At Emilygrene Corp., our mission is energy efficiency. Each of our divisions and programs is aimed toward helping any home or business discover the best solutions to reach their clean energy goals. While we have discussed at great length on Emilygrene Blog the various ways to stay energy efficient through lights, controls, smart devices, and regular maintenance, there is one area each of us may have never considered – our internet usage.

According to our friends at the UK based Energy Saving Trust, there was more internet traffic in 8 hours of 2016 than in the entire year 2000. It is currently estimated that the world’s ICT ecosystem uses approximately 8 percent of the total annual electrical demand – and growing. This is not due to using our smartphones and tablets exactly, but rather how much energy is required to store data, to power wireless facilities, to house data banks for large online companies like Google and Netflix.

Some of these companies, like Google, have already begun taking preemptive measures to embrace renewable energy solutions and offset the amount of energy required to keep the lights on. However, Energy Saving Trust has a few more suggestions for all of us casual internet users to make a difference just by turning off the Wi-Fi once in awhile.

Read on below for the six tips guaranteed to make you a better, greener internet user (an excerpt from “How To Be Energy Efficient Online” written by Rebecca Milligan and originally published by Energy Saving Trust).

  1. Don’t waste energy. Do you really need Wi-Fi when you’re asleep? Your router uses pretty much the same amount of power whether you’re online or not, so turn it off at night, and when you’re out of the house. Check with any teenagers in the house before trying this, though, as downloading data when the Wi-Fi is off will be more expensive.
  2. Try to make your smartphone battery last longer. Batteries that are constantly recharged to 100% will have a shorter lifespan than those that are kept at around 50% most of the time. For the same reason it’s not a good idea to let the battery get down to zero too often.
  3. Hang on to your handset. The energy required to manufacture a new handset is a large part of the overall energy-use associated with smartphones. Consider whether you really need to upgrade each year or whether your existing model meets your needs.
  4. When you do upgrade your electronics, ensure the old products are recycled effectively. Check with your local council for recycling options.
  5. Televisions are still the biggest consumer of energy in the home when it comes to electronics. Check the energy labelling if you’re buying a new TV and look for models at the top end of the alphabet. Remember even if your TV has an A+++ label, you still need to enable all its energy efficiency features for it to live up to that promise.
  6. Switch off smart home appliances at the wall, if possible. Otherwise they remain connected and using power when in standby.

Source: Energy Saving Trust

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