Are Malaysians Aware of their Digital Carbon Footprint?
What is a digital carbon footprint?
So, you have heard of a carbon footprint, right? It’s basically the impact of our daily activities on the environment in terms of carbon emissions. Now, add “digital” in front of it, and you have a digital carbon footprint which essentially translated to the same detrimental effects! A digital carbon footprint is the CO2 emissions resulting from digital devices and infrastructure. Or, more importantly, as a , how much are we contributing to this phenomenon?
But how are digital devices connected to global emissions?
Well, for one, the production of digital gadgets requires energy which often comes from burning fossil fuels leading to greenhouse gas emissions. Secondly, when we use these digital devices – whether it be browsing online or streaming videos – they also require energy from data centres that run 24/7. And as more data is being generated and transferred through digital means, this also requires energy, leading to carbon emissions.
Each minute spent reading through a newsfeed, surfing the web, or watching a video adds to our overall digital carbon footprint. The amount of CO2 produced by global email use is equivalent to adding . We could cut emissions by 16.4 million kilograms of CO2—the equivalent of 81,152 flights from London to Madrid—if every email user sent 1 fewer email every day.
In the years of speaking out on greenhouse gases, have we ignored invisible digital gases?
The significance of digital carbon footprints
Climate change and energy consumption have been issues debated for decades on end, but where do digital technologies fit in this narrative? As we mentioned earlier, the higher our Internet usage, the more energy we consume, and the more emissions we produce. These emissions contribute to climate change, which is a threat to our planet and our way of life.
Unsurprisingly, the average Internet usage has increased by 50% just in the last 5 years. Just look around, young children till old grandparents are on their digital devices hours on end, contributing to an extra large digital carbon footprint.
As Malaysians, how can we reduce our digital carbon footprint?
As a , we understand the environmental impact we put out in our line of work. Truth be told, prior to this, we ourselves weren’t aware of digital carbon footprint and how vital responsible digital energy consumption is. Ask ourselves, are we aware of our digital carbon footprint?
In case you forgot, climate change and global warming are still very much a phenomenon that is happening right now as we speak!
WE GET IT! Logging off devices can be difficult, especially when jobs are remote now and require you to be online most of the day. For example, in a typical, your day-to-day task would require you to type away and send emails all day long. Thus, while you can take a stand in reducing your digital carbon footprint, the rest of the world or at least, your client base, might not be as supportive of your decision.
An average person will definitely not have the same carbon footprint as a corporation; however, we do need to realise that we have a common enemy to bust, reducing global greenhouse emissions! Thus, no matter if you’re a working professional or a toddler obsessed with Peppa Pig, we all have a part to play when it comes to being more consciously energy efficient.
How To Reduce Carbon Emissions In a Digital Space
The obvious step is to reduce your screen time, it’s not like there’s a dearth of shopping malls in Malaysia, go for a walk in the malls with your family. You could also opt for energy-efficient internet service providers. Additionally, actively seeking out opportunities to recycle or reuse electronic devices can also help to reduce emissions.
Another important step is to start being more informed about the impact of our internet usage on the environment and take steps to change our behaviours accordingly. Whether it’s through using tools like the Digital Carbon Footprint calculator, signing petitions or attending events focused on environmental issues in Malaysia, there are many ways for Malaysians to make a difference.
It takes the global population to start consciously reducing carbon emissions
Hold up. ? Yes, no matter if you’re an individual, a small business or even a digital marketing agency in Malaysia, you can use specific online tools to calculate your carbon footprint and figure out subsequently how to reduce them.
Obviously, these changes can be brought upon by a single person or a single business. For there to be an actual change in the reduction of a digital footprint, changes need to be conducted at an institutional level by the government and relevant agencies. Some potential strategies for organizations or governments to reduce their digital carbon footprint include increasing energy efficiency in data centre, using renewable energy sources, and investing in new technologies to improve data storage and processing capabilities. Additionally, promoting awareness about the importance of reducing digital emissions can also help encourage organizations and governments to take action.
By working with other companies, institutions, or government agencies on initiatives focused on reducing emissions, organisations and governments can share resources and ideas to have a greater impact on this issue. Ultimately, there are many ways for organizations and governments to take action on digital carbon footprints, and it is critical that they continue to seek out new opportunities to make a positive impact.
Yes, this may come across as cheesy, but Mother Earth is relying on us to turn the planet around. If you’re a business, looking to expand instead of doing your marketing internally and creating needless digital carbon, why not hire one of the. At Primal Digital Agency Malaysia, we help realise your business dreams AND help you save the environment at the same time!