Did you know that the carbon footprint of the Internet is around 300 million ton of CO2 per year (Source: The Guardian), which is equivalent to every person in America flying to the UK and back twice over.
That is a whole lot of emissions and there are plenty of things all of us (as users of the Internet) can do to reduce our emissions. One thing that website owners can do is to design and build sites that are optimized to reduce data transfer. That is what we’ve done with the Sustainable Summer website. For example, we’ve substantially reduced the number of images that we use on a page, and when we do serve an image, we only serve an image that is sized appropriately for the browser (eg; smaller images for mobile devices, etc). How does this help? Let’s say that instead of serving 250KB in image files on a page we instead served 2500KB (or 2.5 MB). That may not sound like a big difference given the download speeds available to most users in developed countries. You probably wouldn’t even notice the difference in website speed (unless you’re on a slow cellular connection). But every single user that visits that page is downloading those same files to their web browser, so in aggregate we are talking potentially about differences of millions of MBs of data saved (depending on how many users visit a particular website). At some point, we plan on doing an audit of to see how much we have reduced our emissions by taking these steps, but for now, we’re happy to help call attention to this important topic.
Here is cool infographic that explains more: