The research: internet websites also pollute, and not a little

Elizabeth Smith

In recent years, awareness of the environmental impact of web design has grown considerably. It is no longer enough to create attractive and functional websites.

Now it is also important to consider energy efficiency and the reduction of CO2 emissions. According to the Global Carbon Project, if the web were a nation, it would be ranked third in electricity consumption and fourth in pollution, after China, the US and India.

Therefore, there is a need to adopt strategies and practices that make the web more sustainable and reduce its carbon footprint.

The impact of Web Design on the environment

Web design, if not optimised correctly, can contribute significantly to CO2 emissions and energy consumption. According to the Green Software Foundation, web design could account for around 20-30% of a website’s total energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

This is mainly due to the size of the data transferred, which influences the energy consumption of devices, network infrastructure and data centres.

Therefore, it is necessary to adopt sustainable web design practices to reduce the environmental impact.

The importance of reducing the size of pages and images

One of the main strategies for reducing the environmental impact of websites is to reduce page size. This can be achieved by optimising images, minimising the use of third-party scripts and optimising HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Another important aspect of sustainable web design is the optimisation of images and multimedia content. High-resolution images and videos are often responsible for large amounts of transferred data and high energy consumption.

Reducing the size of images, compressing videos and using more energy-efficient formats, such as WebP format, can help to significantly reduce page size and environmental impact.

In addition, limiting the use of complex animations and visual effects that require additional load can help further reduce the energy consumption of the site.

The commitment of companies and start-ups

Many companies and start-ups are actively working to make the web more sustainable. For example, Reply, a leading ICT software and technology company, has a team dedicated to the study of green web design methodologies.

These are just examples of how companies are trying to contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly web. Or the startup Dedalo Ai, which was born precisely with the intention of reducing the energy consumption of websites as much as possible.

In addition to the efforts of companies and professionals, it is crucial to educate users on the concept of a sustainable web. Users themselves can contribute by adopting responsible behaviour when surfing online.

For example, avoiding leaving numerous browser tabs open unnecessarily, disabling automatic updates and minimising unnecessary file downloads are actions that can help reduce energy consumption and the overall environmental footprint.

The importance of measurement and monitoring

Finally, to make the web more sustainable, it is essential to constantly measure and monitor the environmental impact of websites.

The use of tools and software to measure CO2 emissions, energy consumption and site performance can provide valuable data to identify areas for improvement and take corrective action.

This continuous measurement and monitoring process allows the effectiveness of implemented sustainable web design strategies to be evaluated and any additional optimisations to be made. Only through constant evaluation and a continuous commitment to sustainability will it be possible to build a greener and more energy-efficient web.

Sustainable web design is therefore a key aspect in reducing the environmental impact of websites and contributing to the fight against climate change. Through practices such as reducing page size, optimising images, improving code and adopting mobile-friendly strategies, it is possible to make the web more eco-friendly.

Read also: What is Ecoterra, the cryptocurrency for the environment and sustainability on a global scale

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