LinkLog: Internet – A Resource for Going Green

From Why Internet is an Innovation – our Best Resource for Going Green by Courtney Webster

As an entirely online resource, the Internet can be used to share information across the world, without ever having to waste natural resources. Online bank statements reduce corporate mailings, while websites like http://www.photobucket.com allow us to share our pictures without making eco-costly prints. When shopping online, using credit cards and online order confirmation, we save the paper and ink that would other wise be used to print cash and receipts, and without making the trip to the store, we’re reducing our carbon footprint in the process.

There are several businesses that can do this, especially ones with mostly knowledge workers. Courtney points out Project Nvokh, a fascinating effort in going green.

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2 thoughts on “LinkLog: Internet – A Resource for Going Green

  1. The whole notion of computing/internet leading to green is a fallacy. Yes on a personal level it saves paper etc, but to support it requires a massive infrastructure that is certainly not green.

    * Take a computer – most electronic components contain a host of toxic chemicals like lead and mercury. Both manufacture and disposal of components are extremely polluting.

    * Chip manufacturing requires extremely pure water – 32Kg for a single RAM chip. Multiply with the number of chips made every year (and probably disposed within 2-3 years). Imagine using pure water for semiconductors instead of drinking.

    * Then there’s the Internet. Powering a data center takes a tremendous amount of electricity for running servers as well as cooling. All that energy comes from polluting power plants.

    Most people think hey we can send an email instead of a document. But few realize that the computer and electricity impact on the environment is probably a lot more than just using a piece of biodegradable paper. We are just replacing a waste that we can see (paper) with a much bigger one that is out of sight.

  2. Hi Sid,
    Thanks for presenting a different view. One question though about the email vs the bio degradable paper. Does it include the cost of moving several millions of paper all across the world?

    Dorai

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