Digital Cleanup Day: Spring cleaning on your computer

  • 18 March 2022
  • Reading time: 3 min
  • News

March 19th is the Digital Cleanup Day. The perfect day to take a moment to think about our internet and computer use, and a day on which we all ‘clean out’ our computer and cloud. So that we can all take care of the environment together!

The internet and the cloud are machines that need energy and natural resources. The more data that is sent over the internet and stored in the cloud, the higher the emissions of those machines.

Did you know that using the internet produces about 900 million tons of C02 every year? That’s as much as all the SUVs in the world. Fortunately, we can do our part, at home or at work, to limit this dazzling figure.

This is also what we do at Combell: our colleagues work hard to clean up unnecessary files and their own test accounts. Because we all know that it takes effort to spare the climate. So, we are pleased to give you 5 easy and effective tips!

1. Search through your computer to remove unnecessary files

Maybe you still have photos of a second-hand piece of clothing you once sold, stacks of read e-books in your download folder or you’re someone who takes screenshots all the time.

The basic rule for those files: when they are not useful/necessary, delete them! Your computer will need less power to save them, and it provides peace of mind.

2. Delete apps you don’t use from your smartphone

An app you once wanted to learn to play guitar or that dating app you don’t need anymore (good for you!)? Get rid of it!

Unnecessary apps do not just look messy on your screen, they also consume energy. Even if you don’t use them. Delete unused apps, and you’ll save your battery and your smartphone will work faster.

3. Unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t read

No doubt you get loads of emails that you never actually read. When you unsubscribe, you directly help to reduce mail emissions.

Every minute 240 million e-mails are sent in the world. Of those, one-fifth (48 million per minute!) are never opened. Yet they take up space on servers. Unsubscribing to unnecessary newsletters reduces the amount of space taken up, and that means fewer emissions.

4. Remove old backups

Taking backups is important, but once in a while checking which backups you still need can’t hurt. If you have 20 backups of the same file, it might be a good idea to do a big clean sweep!

5. Adjust your behavior

Taking a close look at your computer, smartphone and cloud is a good start, but your daily behavior can help to reduce digital emissions. Are you sending “ok” or “thank you” emails? No need to!

Even small things like turning off your camera during digital meetings can help. When your camera is on during 15 hours of digital meetings per month, you create 9.4kg of CO2. Turn your camera off, and help the environment (and you can pick your nose unseen too :wink: ).

Want to learn more about digital emissions?

Then be sure to check the Digital Cleanup Day website. It is full of interesting facts and tips on how to keep your own digital cleanup!

Even greener? Switch to the cloud

If your company has its own servers, they cost quite a bit of energy. The chance that you will use your local server(s) to the full is not so great. So your server uses a lot of unnecessary energy. Bad for the environment and your wallet.

When you work in the cloud, you opt for a more sustainable and cheaper solution!