Climate change: is streaming bad for the environment?

Driving an electric car, choosing train travel or using less plastic — we know there are many things we can do to be less of a burden on the world’s environment. But would you be willing to give up on streaming video?

The problem: transferring videos online is data-intensive. The higher a video’s resolution, the more data that’s required. In 2018, online video traffic was responsible for more than 300 million tons of CO2, equivalent to the total amount of CO2 a country the size of Spain releases in a year.

According to a recent projection by IT giant Cisco, by 2022 around 60% of the world’s population will be online, with video making up more than 80 percent of all internet traffic. And what do people watch?

When it comes to data transfer, the crucial part is what specific technology is used to bring the data to the user. Use Wi-Fi, not mobile networks, watch on the smallest screen you can — and high-definition video on a smartphone isn’t really necessary… watching high-definition videos on a smartphone over a mobile network uses the most electricity, and consequently is the worst for the climate.

If you want to know more about what we could do to save data, the energy data transfer uses, and the CO2 it produces, see the Deutsche Welle ( article this info. comes from:

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