Experts warn that we are in the midst of A Decade of Action, with the next 10 years pivotal in the fight against climate change.
By now, you have probably been clued into multifarious ways in which you can play a part. From taking public transport to bringing reusable bags for shopping.
But let’s start simpler and easier by plucking some really easy low hanging fruit to get you started on the journey of sustainability. It also helps that the following tips are all actions you can take right now without getting out of your seat, and with just a few clicks.
Interested? Let us take a look at 4 tech-savvy ways you can lower your carbon footprint now.
1. Use an eco-friendly font
That’s right. Not all fonts are weighted equally and therefore not all fonts use the same amount of ink. For printing intensive applications such as manual scripts, thesis papers and the like, massive daily word counts can add up towards extra ink consumption.
Without sacrificing readability, you can easily format your word documents to a comfortable font size such as 10 or 11. Don’t use double spacing, always print on double-sided paper if you can help it, and finally, choose a font that does not require as much ink.
Eco-friendly fonts are fonts that cover a lesser surface area and include options such as:
Times New Roman
You can also look for ‘Thin’ and ‘Light’ versions of your favourite fonts.
In fact, there is even a dedicated Ecofont with tiny holes punched in each letter to purportedly save 20 percent more ink.
Ink cartridges create plastic and metal waste, so cutting down on usage will not only you some bucks, but also the earth.
2. Use a green search engine
You might not know this, but using the Google search engine, with its bloated ads and unnecessary trackers, guzzles a lot of unnecessary processing power and energy from data servers.
Since you are on the Internet anyway, why not plant trees or save the oceans for your searches?
Startups Ecoasia and OceanHero are two initiatives that help to offset your online carbon footprint, and you can take part simply by switching your default search engine to them. How they work is by channelling the profit paid by advertisers from your searches to do-good for the earth instead.
Ecosia plants a tree on your behalf for every 45 searches you make, while OceanHero will recover one ocean-bound plastic for every 5 searches you do.
We told you it was easy.
3. Use dark or night mode or a dark background
The latest iPhone XS, Macbook Super Retina and the Samsung Galaxy S9 all feature the new OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) display screen technology. And if you have a device that does, consider using a dark-themed wallpaper.
On an OLED display, the black pixels actually do not produce any light, so having a dark wallpaper or theme as a background on your desktop or mobile will save your battery life in the long run. Not to mention, it looks ultra sleek too.
Some apps and websites offer a dark mode option, so opt for that, too, for extra mileage.
4. Use ethical email
According to this article by the Carbon Literacy Project, the emails of three average office workers surpass an average person in India’s carbon footprint for all their activity for a whole year.
To help offset your digital carbon footprint, consider giving a green e-mail provider a go. Ethical e-mail providers are not only committed to using renewable energy and have sustainable practices, but are also privacy-focused with no ads as a plus. The downside of this is that you most likely will have to pay for these services. But the upside is that there is better chance of getting an e-mail address with a name that you want, plus you are minimising your impact on resources.
So there you have it - 4 easy, tech-savvy ways to lower your carbon footprint. The best practice always though, is to reduce your actual consumption. So, mobile-free weekends and phones off after 8pm are all other great ideas to incorporate into a consciously zen-tech lifestyle.