Cleaning Up Our Digital Footprint for a Greener Future.
Have you heard about digital trash? Did you know that our digital waste can be just as harmful to the environment as air traffic in the world? and caring about digital trash is as much important as cutting plastic for instance? Let me explain more.
Last May, I had the opportunity to take part in a training course called “Action for Green Footsteps” with Let’s Do It! – Georgia Organization. It brought together 26 participants from seven different countries to discuss environmental issues and learn about climate change, renewable energy, and waste management through workshops and activities.
What I liked about this course was that we had both a facilitator and experts in waste management. This made our discussions more focused and specific. The participants were carefully selected, many of whom had a strong background in environmental matters. I learned a lot from their insights and experiences, sometimes even more than the original topics, because they were actively involved in environmental initiatives in their own countries. They shared their knowledge and strategies for addressing environmental challenges, which was incredibly valuable.
One topic that particularly interest me was Digital Cleaning Day. Digital waste refers to unnecessary emails, files, apps, and duplicate photos and videos. This waste contributes to digital pollution, continuously consuming energy even when we forget about it. The backups stored on cloud service servers also contribute to this problem by consuming electricity.
For instance, emails’ carbon footprint can vary from 0.3g up to 50g if it is with a photo attachment. To reduce our digital carbon footprint, eco-emailing suggests using document links instead of attachments, so recipients don’t have to download files. Avoiding sending messages to multiple recipients is another simple way to lessen our digital impact. Unsubscribing from mailing lists we no longer read can also make a difference. Avoid sending only “Thank you” and “FYI” emails.
Streaming videos in standard resolution instead of HD can significantly reduce carbon emissions. If you’re interested in learning more about the statistics and practical actions to lower your digital footprint, you can find them through this link.
After this workshop, we all had time to clean up our phones, delete all unused apps, duplicated photos and videos from our phones, clean our emails, and clean laptops. It was so satisfying to see the drop in storage space and even it was such relieving to organize my devices.
In conclusion, just as we have taken steps to reduce plastic waste and adopt more sustainable practices, it is now imperative to extend our efforts to the digital world. By raising awareness about digital waste, implementing eco-friendly habits, and embracing responsible digital practices, we can pave the way for a greener and more sustainable digital future.
Sarah, Volunteer from Jordan.
About the ESC: The European Solidarity Corps is a program of the European Union to strengthen solidarity in various areas: from helping the disadvantaged and providing humanitarian aid to engagement for health and the environment in the EU and beyond.
The program offers young people the opportunity to respond to the needs of the community, make a concrete contribution to society, and in the process gain invaluable experience and develop new skills. The program is also intended for organizations active in the field of solidarity that want to involve young people in their activities.