The Internet provides free global communication and access to knowledge. But it comes at a cost to us. Approximately 1 PWh (petawatt hour) of power is consumed annually by websites, streaming services, social media platforms, and email, accounting for 4% of all electricity consumed worldwide and producing 432 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO₂) in the process.
Operating data centers with renewable energy sources will not be sufficient to handle the energy consumption of the Internet. Increasing data traffic is outpacing advances in energy efficiency. In addition, the success of mobile devices means that more and more users are spending more and more time online, further increasing energy demand. Storing data in energy-optimized data centers is offset by the need for constant online data access.
In addition to the high energy consumption associated with video streaming, bitcoin mining and cloud computing, private websites also contribute to increased power demand.
What can we do?
Minimal Carbon Site shows that there are options for action and that the power consumption of websites can be drastically minimized.
Minimal Carbon Site is not only a concrete technical solution, Minimal Carbon Site also creates awareness about the relationship between information and energy, because increasing digital energy consumption is the direct result of choices we all make every day: Publishers, software developers, web designers, and Internet users.
How does this work?
Minimal Carbon Site avoids:
Tracking. Advertising. Third Party Traffic. Autoplay videos. video backgrounds. Consideration for outdated browsers. Fancy scripts and effects. Webfonts.
Minimal Carbon Site uses instead:
Minimal Carbon Site proves that it is possible to significantly reduce the energy consumption of the Internet by optimizing websites.
The side effects?
The site will be faster, improving usability in regions with lower bandwidth and for people who can only afford a small amount of data. And – it can no longer be hacked. And by the way, the SEO ranking increases as well.
We have created a version of karlsruhe.digital that reduces its ecological footprint by 95% while maintaining its design and functionality: https://karlsruhedigital.minimalcarbon.site
Let’s unpower the web.