For those like us who are working remotely since the pandemic, we all know that video conferencing apps like Zoom became a necessity. There’s a need to collaborate ideas and technology made it possible even without leaving the comfort of our house. But if there’s no need to turn your camera during those meetings, it might be better not to. Here’s why!
The lockdowns increased our footprint from Internet usage
According to some scientists, turning off the camera during a video conference may reduce carbon emissions. There’s not much research yet about the carbon footprint of the internet and data storage. However, since our data has to go somewhere like data centers. Reportedly, these data centers emit a lot of greenhouse gasses to continue their operation.
A car that burns a gallon of gas emits 8,000 grams of carbon dioxide. An hour of using Zoom for online meetings or binging on Netflix means the emission of 150 to 1,000 grams of carbon dioxide. On one hand, researchers said that one can lessen his/her footprint by disabling the camera. You can reduce it by 96 percent by just doing it. Meanwhile, you can lessen it by 86 percent by watch movies at just standard definition.
Because of the lockdowns, our Earth experienced a significant decrease in global carbon emissions. However, internet usage went up by 20 percent. If this continues, the source said that the total carbon emission from the Internet can occupy the size of the country Syria. One of the researchers explained,
“Banking systems tell you the positive environmental impact of going paperless, but no one tells you the benefit of turning off your camera or reducing your streaming quality. So without your consent, these platforms are increasing your environmental footprint.”
The study is just a piece of evidence that there’s a cost to the planet for every human action. So what can we do? We can all make smarter choices and making small actions to lessen our carbon footprint. There’s no harm in turning off your camera, especially during these cold days you haven’t showered yet.
Queenie Lasta got her bachelor's degree in Communications Research from UP Diliman. In her free time, she likes to read thriller novels, psychology books, and mangas. She believes in the importance of grit, hard work, and passion to become a great writer in the future.