Modern technology and computer usage is an ever expanding area and with it comes new environmental concerns. Most of us use the Cloud for our online activities; messages, emails, games, visual and audio streaming and multiple information searches. We don’t realise we can be depleting valuable resources by storing unnecessary ‘stuff’.
The Cloud is not some ethereal realm, that is just ‘out there’. It is a network of information which uses fibre optic cables, air conditioners and massive banks of computer servers, all over the world, using electricity and water. As it grows, the Cloud now has a greater carbon footprint than the airline industry. It consists of 456 data centres in the UK, with only the US and Germany having more. (No. from 2022) Each data centre can consume the equivalent electricity of 50,000 homes. A lot of work is needed by governments and corporations to lessen the ecological problems around maintaining the Cloud. Individuals and communities can help by changing practices and choices.
We can all minimise Cloud storage by deleting content we are not using;-
Delete unneeded photos and videos.
Delete outdated folders and files.
Delete old messages, emails and attachments.
Delete voice memos.
Delete unused apps which often automatically backup to the cloud.
You’ll be decreasing water and electricity use, decreasing carbon output and hopefully getting a feeling of achievement. Marion Oakes.