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Breaking News: The Internet Uses Energy

21 May 2012

This article I found on how much energy is used every time we use the internet fascinates me. I use just as much internet as the next person (ahem this blog), but I never thought much about how much energy it takes to process all of the data it uses. The infographic lays out many interesting statistics of internet energy use such as, all of the 62 Trillion spam e-mails sent every year generate the same amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as driving 1.6 million cars around the earth. WHAT, yeah, crazy.

The good news is that internet data centers have greatly increased their efficiency (as seen on the infographic), which highlights the benefits of telecommuting. Currently 2.5% of people telecommute to work when about 40% could. Telecommuting has great potential for reducing emissions and saving money. Want a fact to tell your boss? Telecommuting also increases productivity by 25-40 percent!

I think I am going think twice about pointless Googling from now on. [Ed. note: I however, probably won’t – which is why I think I need to add another action to my Energy Challenge pledge to even it out!]

Full size infographic

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