The Other Side of the Internet - Enormous Energy Consumption and Pollution
Carbon dioxide pollution is the greatest contributor to the global warming. The top two sources of carbon dioxide pollution are coal-burning power plants (the largest in the U.S.) which emit 2.5 billion tons of CO2 yearly and automobiles which produce 1.5 billion tons of CO2 every year. But did you know that browsing the internet can also produce carbon dioxide emissions?
According to an Environmental Fellow at Harvard University, Dr. Alexander Wissner-Gross, who researches the environmental impact of computing, every second that someone spends browsing a website produces an estimate amount of 20 milligrams of CO2. Every single activity like sending an email, downloading a song, or video streaming that happens in the web has an impact on the environment. That desktop computer you and you’re family are using whose electricity came from coal power plants is giving carbon emissions equivalent to a sports car!
Several studies showed that with the increasing demands for energy of computers from manufacturing, utilization and disposal of data and communications technology creates nearly two percent of air pollution which is equal to the amount generated by the whole aviation industry.
Some researches estimated that in a decade, the internet will be creating 20 percent of the world’s CO2 pollution.
McAfee, an anti-virus software company, stated that the energy needed in transmitting trillions of spam emails every year is equivalent to the electricity needed to power two million houses in the U.S. and generating the similar amount of CO2 emissions as more than 3 million cars.
The worst offenders in harming the environment are the data centers whose hundreds to thousands servers are storing everything from emails, company websites, social media photos and videos. Based on the Climate Group and Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) study in 2008, data centers all over the world emitted 76 million tons of CO2 in 2002. This amount may had tripled or more after a decade.
As millions of people use the Internet each year, the necessity of making an environment-friendly Internet ecosystem is urgent and very important. But how can we achieve this?
The energy department of WMD hosting agrees that one of the answers is switching to “green” web hosting, know as the eco friendly version of the traditional web hosting.
Web hosting operations need a huge amount of electricity to power web servers and other equipment. To minimize the CO2 emissions, more and more companies are resorting to “green” web hosting – an eco-friendly alternative to the conventional web hosting.
The main purpose of the mentioned “green” web hosting is to compensate for the CO2 emissions of the data centers in the environment by applying several approaches. Some of these are:
· Purchasing of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).
· Reducing the consumption of energy by using solar power, recycling or eliminating the use of paper.
· Car pooling.
· Planting a tree.
Opting for a this kind of web hosting rests entirely on you. You have seen what CO2 emissions have caused in the environment. It is more expensive than the traditional, yes, but think about the help that you can give not just today but the future generation as well.