The internet has a carbon footprint. Behind the rhetoric of digital solutions making our lives lighter, there is a very big problem. The internet, and our usage of it, is not so light at all. The internet as a whole currently accounts for 2% of global emissions. That’s the same as all global aviation. And this figure is increasing rapidly. The more data we consume, the more energy we use, and data consumption shows no signs of slowing as people worldwide grasp for better and faster internet speeds. By 2025, Cisco predicts that the internet will account for 3.5% of global carbon emissions.
The internet is not slowing down. As it matures and plays more of an integral part in our lives, we expect more from the internet. As each year passes, people are developing more complex, visually elaborate websites. These websites may look and work well – but behind the scenes they are bloated, using huge amounts of energy each time they are loaded. To put this in perspective: loading the average website uses up the equivalent amount of energy as boiling a kettle for a cup of tea. Environmental guilt has started to creep into everyday life for most people. There is always a sense that we should be doing better.
Thankfully, there are many things we can do to reduce our internet carbon footprint. One of the means is using the most efficient file format for graphics (such as SVG) to lessen the power needed to load the site. This SlideShare explores the concept of SVG format in brief.
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