The Least CO2-Emitting Form of Digital Communication

Thijs Stoop

The purest, lightest, least polluting type of digital communication is textual content. Let’s assume for a second {that a} image does certainly “paint a thousand phrases.” One thousand phrases weighs about 6 KB and sometimes will take up about two A4 pages. An image — or set of photos — taking over the identical space of structure will weigh many instances greater than that. So, an image has a a lot higher carbon footprint than an equal piece of textual content.

The textual content format used impacts the load of textual content. Done correctly, HTML is a light-weight, environmentally pleasant solution to publish textual content. One thousand phrases of textual content optimally formatted in HTML ought to weigh not more than 7 KB. However, in case you merely save 1,000 phrases as HTML utilizing Microsoft Word, for instance, that file will probably be greater than 50 KB as a result of Word introduces heaps of pointless code. One thousand phrases as a Word doc will likely be about 16 KB. Saving 1,000 phrases as a PDF will likely be greater than 60 KB. So, for the very same piece of textual content, PDF might be 9 instances extra polluting than optimized HTML. For this and plenty of different causes, optimized HTML must be the selection of the environmentally acutely aware communicator and designer.

When sending emails, at all times try to ship utilizing the textual content format. In a sequence of exams I did with Microsoft Outlook, I discovered an HTML e-mail weighed on common thrice as a lot as a textual content e-mail. Always assume: what’s the lightest communication choice?

Images taking over the realm of two A4 pages will vary in weight from about 180 KB to nearly 1 MB, relying on how they’re optimized. So, photos might be as much as 200 instances extra polluting than textual content. Choose photos rigorously. An enormous quantity of photos on webpages are pointless — cliché, ego and vainness. They don’t talk something helpful. They merely strut and exhibit. These deeply embedded wasteful habits are half of the broader tradition that has prompted the local weather disaster. We publish so as to exhibit fairly than to speak.

It takes about 4 minutes to learn 1,000 phrases. Four minutes of audio can weigh something from 3.6 MB to 66 MB, relying on the format. So, audio might be as much as 11,000 instances extra polluting than textual content. Always keep away from WAVs when coping with audio (except you’re doing music manufacturing). Audio can certainly be very highly effective however we have to use it rigorously and frugally.

Four minutes of extremely compressed video can weigh about 31 MB. Saving it as 8K video can weigh an astonishing 2.4 GB. So video is probably an astonishing 400,000 instances extra polluting than textual content. Video have to be used very sparingly. Every second that may be lower must be lower. One second of normal YouTube video weighs as a lot as 42,000 phrases of optimized HTML.

Remember: simply because it’s the heaviest choice doesn’t imply it’s the most effective and best solution to talk. Text is usually far superior to photographs, audio or video. Choose your solution to talk intelligently and environmentally consciously. Do not be pushed by trend, misplaced cool or organizational vainness and ego. So a lot about fashionable human life is heavy on the earth. From our monstrous SUVs to our superficial, overblown communication, we extract vastly extra earth sources than are wanted just because we will.

Gerry McGovern is the founder and CEO of Customer Carewords. He is broadly considered the worldwide authority on rising internet satisfaction by managing buyer duties.

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