Climate-friendly leisure activities – with Internet?

Listen to audio version

Is the Internet climate-friendly?

Those, who want to design climate-friendly leisure activities think first of travel options using public transportation, charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, a good network of biking and hiking trails, or the use of regional products.

At the same time, mobile services are being developed such as free Wifi in public spaces, destination apps, online hiking guides, etc. But hardly anyone thinks about how climate-friendly online offers actually are.

Therefore our fact check:

Electricity consumption

In Western countries, information and communication technologies (ICT) are already responsible for around 20% of total electricity consumption.

On the one hand, this is due to the electricity required to manufacture and also charge the various devices such as PCs, laptops, tablets and, of course, smartphones. Although devices become increasingly energy-efficient, the quantity and use of these devices is also increasing, so that overall power consumption is still rising.
On the other hand, energy requirements are increasing due to the use of cloud services and the growing volumes of data that run via mobile telecom networks.

Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins are particularly harmful to the climate. Their generation requires an enormous amount of energy – and the trend is rising. According to ZDF, researchers at Cambridge University found that the climate damage caused by cryptocurrencies is on par with the damage caused by other, energy-intensive processes such as the production of beef or the generation of electricity from fossil fuels.

So cryptocurrencies are certainly unsuitable for climate-friendly leisure activities!

Surfing, streaming, communicating

The fact is that the data centers of Google & Co require a lot of energy for power supply and cooling. And of course, data transmission and end devices also consume energy accordingly.

So does someone who takes part in an all-day conference virtually actually act in a more climate-friendly way than the participants who are there in person? And how much CO² emissions does online presence actually generate?

Even though the various calculations are based on different criteria, the following selection facilitates a classification of the climate friendliness of the Internet:

  • One hour of videoconferencing causes about the same amount of CO² emissions as almost 2 kilometers of driving a car with a gasoline engine.
  • The emissions of all e-mails sent worldwide in a year are equivalent to the total emissions of the Czech Republic.
  • A single Google search on a PC consumes as much electricity as lighting a room for half an hour.
  • ICT use has doubled every five years to date – and with it energy consumption and CO² emissions.
Femal hands on a tablet, coffee cup next to it - not one of the most climate-friendly leisure activities

Surfing, shopping, chatting, gaming….Germans spend an average of three hours a day online.

A compromise: mobile, but offline

Of course, destination marketing without the Internet is impossible. And even climate-friendly leisure activities will not be able to get by entirely without ICT.

But there are still ways to reduce CO² emissions without having to forego modern communication:

  • Whether website hosting, cloud services, search engines or social media: The providers have a very different CO² balance.
    This can and should be taken into account for climate-friendly leisure offers.
  • Downloading instead of streaming also helps reduce emissions.
  • When emailing and posting on social media, make sure images and documents are as small as possible.
  • Only use outdoor apps, audio guides, and the like if they work completely or at least partially offline.
  • Develop offerings without ICT, e.g., an old-fashioned treasure hunt instead of geocaching.
A senior tourist couple hikers standing in nature, looking at smartphone selfie.

An offline hiking map or NFC info points by SpeechCode: No internet needed – so climate friendly!

Conclusion:
Climate-friendly leisure activities must pay attention to the ecological footprint of ICT.

 

More about sustainability

Sustainable tourism – simple, quick solutions

Sustainable tourism – simple, quick solutions

Tips, how to create sustainable tourism offers for summer 2021

read more
Outdoor Apps for Tourism Destinations

Outdoor Apps for Tourism Destinations

Information about outdoor activities, sights and events need to be available also for mobile devices. Find out more…

read more
Fast Internet – more dream than reality!

Fast Internet – more dream than reality!

Read here, how fast Interent really is and how long it will take

read more
Hiking guides – analog, digital or personal

Hiking guides – analog, digital or personal

Overview of digital, analog and personal hiking guides

read more
Tourism – Audio Guide and talking Signage

Tourism – Audio Guide and talking Signage

Find out, how cost-effective our smart combination of Audio Guide and talking signage can improve the visitor…

read more
Hiking offers for new target groups

Hiking offers for new target groups

How smart hinikg offers attract new target groups

read more
Audio information has many benefits

Audio information has many benefits

How easy it is to benefit from audio information

read more
Climate-friendly tourism – rethinking travel

Climate-friendly tourism – rethinking travel

Why climate-friendly tourism needs new thinking

read more
Accessible Hotel Neues Pastorat in Heiligenhaus

Accessible Hotel Neues Pastorat in Heiligenhaus

Showcase of an accessible and inclusive hotel

read more
Conveying history digitally and mobile

Conveying history digitally and mobile

Why digital solutions are great tools to convey history

read more
Successfully implement the 2-senses principle

Successfully implement the 2-senses principle

Why the 2-senses principle is important and how to implement it

read more
Talking QR Code – that makes sense!

Talking QR Code – that makes sense!

Why a talking QR Code has many advantages

read more
Sustainability in marketing with voice assistants

Sustainability in marketing with voice assistants

Find out how Siri and Alexa promote sustainability in marketing

read more
Accessible exhibitions and museums

Accessible exhibitions and museums

Accessible exhibitions for people with visual impairments - so easy

read more

Comment now: