As our lives get more immersed into the internet, our daily dose of dopamine is now powered more and more by the cloud. It becomes easy for many of us to forget that the cloud is very much a series of warehouses packed with computers, requiring massive amounts of energy to function - energy, which if sourced from unsustainable sources could topple the ecological equilibrium. This initiative is a gentle reminder of this fact, and a few pointers on digital conservation.
1. Delete the data: photos, messages, accounts and apps, all take up resources on computers. The less of these you have, the lesser the computing that is required. Reconsider if you really need all those online backups, accounts and apps. When you do your spring clean, dont forget the contents of your devices!
2. Pull the plug: even when not actively used, your devices continue to work in the background generating messages that require processing. Completely power your devices off as much as possible. This is especially important as the number of connected devices per person continue to increase. When powering off is not an option, try to adopt reduced usage modes
3. Offline more often: all your online activities - browsing, ordering, streaming, gaming, messaging, immersive experiences, computer intelligence and assistants consume vast amounts of power. Instead, go for a walk, converse with your fellow humans, do chores yourselves or get creative. These are often healthier for the body and mind. If there is nothing to do, do nothing; it's okay to be bored!
4. There's enough time: 'more' has been the general theme of recent human development. Whether this is performance, ease, speed or economic expansion, it is time to take a pause and understand the costs. Slow is sustainable, and helps the planet too. Re-use as much, and importantly, for as long as possible. This website is served by a re-used $10 Raspberry Pi Zero
5. Carbon per kilobyte: Just as you would look at the labels about the source of products while purchasing groceries, find out how much of your apps are powered by computing powered by sustainable energy. Data centres are the factories of your online world. As online transactions grow at scale, so does the power consumption by the data centres, and should be encouraged to reduce carbon offset. This webpage runs on solar power!
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