Turning off Your Zoom Camera during Online Meetings Is Actually Better for the Planet

Imagine a typical current classroom, with a teacher lecturing on a sea of ​​empty zoom squares. “Do you want to turn on your camera?” They pray to the expressionless emptiness. Well, according to a new study published in Resources, Conservation, and Recycling, these shy students can actually save the planet in their repetitive ways. They suggest that leaving your camera on the video camera can reduce your footprint by 96%. You can reduce emissions by 86% by streaming with the standard definition instead of just HD as soon as you decide to watch some of your extra time.

The study, conducted by researchers at Yale, Purdue, and MIT, looked at the environmental impact of Internet use. The authors write in the research paper, “The newly developed digital lifestyle has major environmental benefits, including reduced carbon dioxide emissions related to travel.  Nevertheless, the increased use of the Internet has some hidden environmental implications that must be uncovered to make the transition to a low-carbon and green economy a success. “

The carbon footprint of the Internet had already increased before the global lockdowns took effect, with greenhouse gas emissions at 3.7%. The power consumption of data centers contributes 1% of global energy demand – more than the national consumption of some countries. Since March, Internet usage has increased by 20% in most countries. If this upward trend continues, additional use alone will use enough water to fill more than 300,000 Olympic swimming pools, a landmark the size of Los Angeles, and 115,229 square kilometers (71,600 square miles) of the forest to emit additional carbon.

Researchers have analyzed water, land, and carbon footprints for every gigabyte of data used on different online platforms from different countries. They found that more video-heavy platforms have a higher impression. They also learned that water, land, and carbon footprints differed greatly between the countries they studied.

The UK’s land pressure was 281% higher than the global median, Brazil’s water footprint was 218% higher than the median, and South Africa’s carbon footprint was 59% above average. Researchers have theorized that this could be due to a variety of factors, including energy production. The study recommended that if 1 million video conferencing users turned off their cameras, monthly carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by 9,023 tons, and if 70 million people broadcast video reduced the quality from HD to SD, there will be a reduction of 2.5 million tons per month.

The authors wrote, “Small tasks such as turning off videos during virtual meetings, downgrading streaming services, reducing gaming time, limiting time on social media, deleting or subscribing to emails and unnecessary on mail-based storage services Environmental measures of use can be significantly reduced.”