The impact of the internet
The internet consumes electricity. Our growing consumption of digital stuff —like streaming movies and music, scrolling around at social media services, endlessly surfing looking to buy stuff or to read— lead to a giant growth of electricity usage of the world wide web. Since the electricity comes mostly from fossil fuels, the internet has a huge carbon footprint, comparable to air travel, and growing rapidly. By 2025, it will be probably 5 times that of air travel.
The original idea was to build a site with a small size, and thus a low footprint, about global warming.
This site was originally built for the contest 10k apart. The goal was to go back to the basics of web development and build a website that can be delivered in less than 10 kilobytes (10 kB). The original version of this site is delivered in about 7 kB. As for comparison, an empty Word document is around 11 kB and an average webpage is more than 3 MB (or 3000 kB)!
This homepage is delivered in about 30 kb. You can read here how this site was built.
Web pages are getting larger and larger. The median transfer size for a page is nowadays 2 Mb. That is 2000 kb or approximately 66 times larger than an average page on this site. The reason is the use of a lot of scripts, images and even videos. That’s not ideal for our environment. But how large is the website that you are visiting regularly? Here is how to check that!
This blog is meant to raise awareness about the impact of the internet and other digital services on our planet. Since all these technologies require a lot of electricity, they should be well-designed and used consciously to minimise their negative environmental impact.
Be the change you want to see in the world
Several people have committed to fight global warming. Will you?
We need to do this together!