What is the environmental impact of video streaming, and how can we use video streaming more consciously?
Video streaming accounts for 60% of the world’s internet traffic. It generates 300 million tonnes of CO2 each year (roughly 1% of global emissions).
Of the whole video streaming traffic, one third comes from on-demand videos services like Netflix or Amazon Prime. This number is growing each year, as new platforms are coming to the market, like Disney+ and others. The Covid pandemic has accelerated this trend and the number of people subscribing to these services has boomed in the last year.
Another third comes from social media platforms like Youtube, video sharing on What’sApp, shorts videos like Reels on Instagram, TikTok or Facebook.
Finally, the last third comes from pornography websites!
Why are streaming services having an impact on the planet?
This is because as well as energy consumed to power our devices (telephone, TV, tablets), a huge amount of energy is consumed by the servers that store the videos, and the networks that distribute the content.
Of course, we are not trying to make stop using streaming services. These were life-savers and allowed most of us to keep entertained during the several lockdowns in the past year. Video streaming carbon footprint is far from the footprint of the farming, transportation or clothing industries. However, it is expected to rise significantly in the next few years.
So what can we do?
It’s not about stopping watching Netflix, Youtube or Instagram. These services are great!
However, there are simple actions we can take to make sure we are not over consuming.
For example, don’t leave your TV with Netflix or Amazon on if you are not watching.
Avoid using Youtube as background noise, and if you are using it to listen music without watching the videos, why not using a music platform instead of a video one? Read our article about how to reduce your footprint while listening to music.
Finally, if you love a video and want to watch it again and again, it might be better to download it on your phone, tablet or laptop
For more ideas on how to be more eco-friendly, visit our website and find hundreds of easy eco tips You can also visit our eco-brand directory. It’s our catalogue of sustainable brands, that we classified by type of product to make the search easier. You can find eco-brands for phone cases, for clothing, for cleaning products, anything you need! It’s not an online shop, we don’t sell the products ourselves. Just a catalogue with a links to brands that we tested and that we like.