Is it time for a digital clean-up?

The world's in your hands

These days the amount of data we can hold on our devices is immense. Technology advances mean that your mobile device can store more than the most powerful desktop computers could hold only a few years ago. Just because you can does not mean you should.

Is it time for a digital clean-up?
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The digital carbon footprint

Many people don’t realise that storage of data has an environmental impact, and in the same way that one person recycling physical waste only has a minute effect, if everyone recycles the benefits grow. The carbon footprint of the internet and its supporting systems is roughly the same as the airline industry!

It is projected that in the next ten years this will increase from the current 3.7% to 20% of the total energy used globally, which is huge! But there are steps we can take, as individuals, to help reduce this digital carbon footprint.

How do I do it?

Start with your mobile device. Remove any apps and games that you do not use, they consume energy even when not being used. Go through your photo library and delete any duplicate or unnecessary photos (the blurred ones, the ones where you have seven similar ones, the accidental ones!). Also delete any videos as these can take up large amounts of data. Remove any old user accounts that have not been used for a while including old email accounts. All of this will mean your device will run faster and battery life will improve.

Onto your PC – delete all files that are duplicates or useless. Again, sort through all your photos and video content and remove everything you can. Backup your important files and be brutal with the rest!

Our email inbox can become littered with useless, unwanted and outdated messages and files. Use your clean up tools to identify and delete messages in groups. Unsubscribe from anything that you don’t actually read. If you have a long conversation trail you probably only need the latest one so think about deleting the rest. Make folders for your important emails but remember to go in and clean those up too as they will become redundant over time. For satisfaction it is a good idea to check the size of your mailbox at the beginning and end of the process, so you can see all the good work you have done!

Top tips to reduce your digital footprint

  • Unsubscribe
  • Archive and delete
  • Download rather than stream
  • Turn off video in a virtual meeting if possible
  • Stop sending unnecessary emails like ‘thanks’!

It is Digital Cleanup day on 19th March 2022. If you would like more information then visit but you don’t have to wait until then – contribute to reducing your digital carbon footprint and get deleting!!!

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