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BizReport : Internet : April 20, 2012

Save the planet - log-off on Earth Day

To mark 2012 Earth Day WordStream has put together a nifty infographic showing that, even when browsing the Internet, people are using up energy which, in turn, produces CO2.

by Helen Leggatt

earth day 2012.pngEven if you don't plan to plant a tree or deliver a public sermon on Sunday 22nd April - Earth Day - maybe you could hold off on the Google searches for the day? Why? Because, according to WordStream's data, the Internet is just another contributor to the poisoning of our planet.

For instance, did you know that 15,000 searches for "funny cat pictures" produce as much CO2 as actually making a cheeseburger? Or that a single search for "soylent green" produces as much CO2 as a car driving three inches?

In fact, Google alone produces over a quarter of a million kilograms of CO2 each year to process searches - that's enough to power a freezer for 5,400 years. That process in itself uses 3.9KWh of energy - enough to power 5 million washing machine loads.

Oh, and if you don't already hate spammers (who doesn't?), here is a stat to really boil the blood. The 62 trillion emails sent each year produce as much CO2 as 1.6 million cars driving around the earth.

But, before you go and disconnect, the Internet does have some positive effects on the world's CO2 problem.

It allows many people to work from home and, therefore, not contribute to traffic pollution. While WordStream claims 40% of the U.S. workforce could work from home, just 2.5% currently do. If all 40% did work from home, that would reduce carbon emissions by a whopping 53 million metric tons every year.

Maybe you need to show this infographic to your boss.

Tags: environment, infographic, Internet

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