We often talk about the consequences of eating meat, driving and not recycling but what we don’t talk about is our digital consequences. Did you know that a spam email is equal to 0.3g CO2e, a standard email is equal to 4g of CO2e and one with lots of attachments is 50g CO2e? That is a lot of carbon dioxide! I’ve come up with a few ways to reduce your digital carbon footprint.

Unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t read

I’m guilty of this too. But, if you are subscribed to a newsletter and don’t read it anyway then you might as well unsubscribe. You can go about this two ways. Either set some time aside and go through your email subscriptions. Or, if you immediately go to the delete button, click unsubscribe and get your inbox sorted straight away.

Apart from mine…

Sign up for my newsletter and receive an eco-friendly travel list!

Empty your junk folder

Once you have deleted your emails, they stay there for a while in case you want them back. You could delete them manually or see if you can specify when to automatically delete emails in the settings. Mine is set to delete every 30 days.

Delete unused apps

Often we let apps just stay on our phones for ages even if we haven’t used them in a while. But if they have been unused for months, just delete them! If you miss it, you can always redownload.

Delete photos

I have way too many photos so I try to go through them every now and then. Obviously, don’t delete them all because photos can be so heartwarming to look through when missing home. Make sure you delete duplicates and blurry photos as you won’t ever need them. As a blogger, my camera roll is full of duplicates for trying to take the perfect photo for my blog or Instagram. I often just leave them there and wait until I have a spare half hour to go through all my photos, but a little at a time is fine too. Sometimes I go through all my photos and delete some when I’m bored 🤷‍♀️

Delete duplicate files

As a blogger, I often save more than one design on Canva if I’ve missed out something. This results in there being lots of extra files that I don’t get around to going through. Set aside some time and go through all your files. It helps to organise your files into folders – sometimes I get a bit too carried away organising but it is so much easier to find documents!

Use Ecosia

Ecosia is a search engine which plants a tree for every 45 searches you make. Remember to also set it as your home screen instead of Google. I use Ecosia (the app) instead of Safari on my phone and have done for a couple years now – so far, I’ve planted 38 trees! I have Ecosia set for my laptop home page too and have planted 64 trees 🌲

Use low battery mode

If you use low battery mode, your phone won’t need to be charged so much which will save energy! On an iPhone, your phone will go to low battery when it reaches 20% but why not switch it on at 100%? My phone battery is terrible so I’ve been doing this for a few years now and it does make a big difference.

Turn down your brightness

Naturally, I have my brightness very low anyway. Sometimes I even think there should be a lower brightness setting 🙈 By lowering your brightness, the battery won’t run down so quick and you will save energy from charging it. Having it on a low brightness when you’re charging also saves energy and is faster.

Delete old accounts

We all have that Instagram account that we created when we were like 13. If you don’t use it, why not delete it? Having an account that you don’t use doesn’t mean that it’s not contributing to your digital carbon footprint. It is stored on the original app (e.g. Instagram) so still uses up energy.

Download your music instead of streaming it

If you have a playlist you love, maybe download it instead of streaming it all the time. It takes more energy for the app to play it and then you’ll be able to play it without wifi or 3G.

Cash in your unwanted technology

Did you know that you can give back your phone to a shop and get a bit of money for it? No, this isn’t just selling your phone to the shop, it is so that they can take apart the device and reuse the parts that work. This is called cradle to cradle.

What do you do to reduce your digital carbon footprint?

Best wishes, Cx

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29 Comments

  1. It’s so good to have reminders that these things do contribute to our environmental impact. I’ve been meaning to go through my apps and delete my unused ones, so this is a good reminder and motivation to do that! A couple months ago I deleted 1,100 photos from my phone…I really need to be more on top of that too.

    1. I totally relate with photos, thank you x

  2. I love this! I definitely need to go through and do a lot of deleting xx

    1. Thank you x

  3. I love these tips! I really need to use Ecosia more, it’s fantastic! I also could do with deleting some photos, I’ve got so many on my phone!

    Corinne x

    1. Thank you 🙂 x

    2. This is so interesting. I’ve never reallg considered the digital side before but I could definitely improve a lot there. I have so many photos that are blury that I dont need to keep.

  4. Love this! Thanks for reminding me to reinstall Ecosia! Loved reading this.

    1. Thank you 😊

  5. love all these tips! I never think about digital carbon footprint and I think we don’t speak enough about it, so this is a great reminder! I have a lot of checking and deleting apps and pictures for sure! x

    1. Thank you <3

  6. Mind Beauty Simplicity says:

    such a wonderful post, caroline! i think since our digital space clutter isn’t always visible like a messy closet or cluttered floor, it’s hard to think these places need a good cleaning too. all of your suggestions are spot on! thanks for sharing such a helpful post!

    1. So true, thank you x

  7. BR says:

    This is a great post, all the suggestions are perfect 👍🏻
    Thanks for sharing
    https://uncuaderno4cero.wordpress.com/

    1. Thank you x

  8. Honestly digital carbon footprint isn’t something I’ve really thought about. I do tend to delete a lot of things like emails, junk mail, old apps etc. I like to keep things organized so that helps! But there’s definitely a ton more things I could be doing! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. I only discovered it was a thing a few months ago but definitely needs to be talked about more. Thank you x

  9. I never thought about digital carbon footprint, this was great to read and you had some good tips. Looks like I got some organizing to do, I’m guilty of having loads of pictures on my phone 😅. Great post!

    TheQuietGirl
    http://www.quietgirlblog.com

    1. Haha, thank you! x

  10. I have never heard of Ecosia but that is such an awesome idea! How do more people not know about this?!

    1. Totally agree! It’s such a genius idea, we all use the internet after all xx

  11. Em says:

    Brilliant ideas – I don’t tend to think about my digital carbon footprint! Will definitely start unsubscribing from newsletters instead of just deleting them!

    1. Thank you for reading 🙂 x

  12. Thank you for sharing Caroline, I need to follow some of these ideas as I definitely have a larger carbon footprint than I should.

    1. Thank you for reading x

  13. Tamara says:

    100% quilty on most of these 🙁
    Expecially the spam folder! After reading this i am going to set aside a few hours well more likely days to get it all sorted
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Aw, that’s great to hear! x

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