Over the last decade, we’ve become totally addicted to tech. Most of us own a smartphone or tablet, we spend more time on the internet, and we’re constantly on the hunt for the next upgrade. All that tech is having a serious impact on our digital carbon footprint – so here’s how you can be more sustainable with yours.
Choose an ethical mobile phone
The ethics in producing mobile phones varies widely depending on which brand you opt for. And according to Greenpeace, we’ve used as much energy in smartphone production over the last decade as it would take to power the whole of India for a year.
The Good Shopping Guide ranks mobile phones based on a number of ethical factors, including environmental impact, human rights, political donations, and animal welfare. The most ethical mobile phone on their list is Fairphone – a modular smartphone, where all the parts are replaceable and ethically sourced.
Unplug your charger
Keeping your tech plugged in when it’s already charged up will kill the battery life of your gadgets, and waste electricity. So once you’re at 100% battery, unplug your charger.
It’s also good to get into the habit of powering down laptops and computers when you’re not using them, and setting up sleep mode to conserve battery life.
Hang on to your tech
According to the United Nations University, 44.7 million metric tonnes of electronic waste was generated globally in 2016. Only 20% of that waste was documented to be collected and properly recycled – which means that 80% wasn’t recycled properly, or ended up in landfill.
Get the most from your tech by getting it repaired or looking for refurbished models, instead of always opting to buy new. Switch to a SIM only provider when your contract ends – by avoiding mobile phone upgrades and being more considered with any tech purchases, you’ll create less electronic waste.
Use an eco-friendly browser
With an estimated 2.5 billion people around the world connected to the internet, it’s no surprise that the carbon footprint of the internet is estimated to exceed that of energy.
Switch to a more sustainable web browser, like Ecosia to cut your digital carbon footprint. They’re a search engine who use their profits to plant trees in areas across the globe that need them most. And their servers run on 100% renewable energy.