How much energy does a website use?

Wissner-Gross estimates that every second someone spends browsing a simple website, roughly 20 milligrams of C02 are generated. So for every minute, that’s the same amount of carbon dioxide produced when making a cup of tea.

Whether downloading a song, sending an email or streaming a video, almost every single activity that takes place in the virtual environment has an impact on the real one.

Some studies estimate the internet will be producing 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases in a decade.

Data-centres – massive buildings housing hundreds, if not thousands, of power hungry servers, storing everything from Facebook photos and YouTube videos to company websites and personal emails – are often labeled as the worst offenders when it comes to harming the environment.

In 2002, global data center emissions amounted to 76 million tons of carbon dioxide, a figure that is likely to more than triple over the next decade, according to a 2008 study by the Climate Group and Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI).

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