Dutch programmer Danny Van Kooten has reduced the world’s monthly Co2 output by approximately 59,000 kilograms just by changing a few lines of code!
You read it right – 59,000 kilograms. That’s the equivalent of taking 85 roundtrips from New York to Amsterdam.
Danny Van Kooten is the author of a WordPress plug-in that uses Mailchamp to help people sign up to sites’ mailing lists. Van Kooten has been trying to reduce his carbon footprint by flying less and eating less meat, but five months ago has taken the leap in creating a more dramatic change. He noted that the less code exchanged between sites and pages, the less energy was used. So he ‘refactored’ this plug-in, made it more efficient, and now it sends 25kb less data to other pages. This may only seem like a drop in the ocean, but Van Kooten’s plug-in is used by over 2 million websites.
Van Kooten commented that changing a few lines of code ‘takes a lot less effort than eating any meat’, and it made a wider impact, too.
We don’t tend to think about our carbon footprint when it comes to computers, mainly because we can’t see the immediate aftermath. But – especially now in the 21st century of laptops, iPhones and smart watches – we have a lot of digital waste. If every adult in the UK sends one less ‘thank you’ email per day, we’d cut 16 tons of carbon each year. And that’s just one example. Think about the mass amounts of advertisements cluttering sites, or images that don’t need to be there, or spam emails etc.
It’s great to be more conscious of our carbon footprint, and sustainable web design may be the next popular way to build a site.
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