Digital pollution is the pollution generated by the excessive use of digital technologies. Electronic devices, computers, smartphones and servers consume energy to operate and store data, which can contribute to air and water pollution. What’s more, the use of these technologies generates electronic waste that is difficult to recycle and contributes to polluting our planet.
Digital pollution caused by the manufacture of digital terminals
The manufacture of these devices also requires natural resources, such as precious metals and minerals, which can have an impact on the environment.
Electronic waste, such as batteries, screens and printed circuits, can also contain hazardous chemicals that can contaminate the environment if they are not recycled properly. According to a UN report report published in 2013, around 75% of electronic waste is not legally recycled.
This pollution linked to Internet use
Electronic devices require energy for their operation, but also for the storage and transmission of data. This energy consumption may come from non-renewable sources, such as fossil fuels, which contribute to air and water pollution.
According to a physicist at Harvard University, a standard search on Google from a personal computer can generate as much as 7 grams of Co2. “Every day, more than 7 billion searches are carried out on Google, not counting the other search engines that also contribute to digital pollution.”
The emergence of 5G
5G is the fifth generation of wireless network technology that delivers faster data rates and more reliable connectivity than previous generations, such as 4G and 3G. 5G uses a combination of radio frequencies to transmit data, ranging from below 1 GHz to above 100 GHz. This technology is designed to support a wide range of applications, from High Definition video and virtual reality to the Internet of Things and smart cities.
According to a High Council for the Climate (HCC), the introduction of 5G could lead to a Increase in the carbon footprint of the digital sector in France from 18% to 45% by 2030. The rollout of 5G could cause increased demand for new digital devicesThese include smartphones, virtual reality headsets and connected objects, so you can take full advantage of the technology. The HCC is concerned that the first 5G frequencies were allocated to telephone operators without a prior impact assessment.
Reducing our digital pollution
Extending the life of our devices: in addition to regular maintenance and optimizing battery life, repair and reconditioning are also options to consider to extend the life of your electronic devices. By having your appliances repaired or reconditioned, you can extend their useful life and avoid contributing to electronic waste.
Limit very high definition video: Very high definition videos contribute to digital pollution in two ways: they encourage the purchase of larger and more complex screens, which have a greater environmental impact, and they require more energy to play because they are larger.
Opt for an eco-responsible web browsing: For greener web browsing, you can choose an eco-responsible search engine like Ecosia, bookmark your most visited sites to avoid repeated searches, limit the number of extensions on your browser and limit the number of open tabs to reduce data consumption.
Digital pollution is a major environmental issue, and it’s important to take steps to reduce our digital carbon footprint by adopting more eco-responsible practices in our daily use of technology.
That’s why CircularPlace has developed a marketplace allowing the resale of your non-food waste between professionals, and puts you in touch with non-profit organizations to recover your products.
You can also opt for a white label solution that will allow your company to circularize your equipment internally and to engage your employees around ecological themes.