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DIGITAL WASTE

January 26th is a digital clean-up day, in which Tallinn University of Technology also participates. Imagine all the emails, photos, videos, messages, posts, and memes you've sent, saved, or shared online. Pictures that you keep on your phone or in the cloud but don't use. Or two-year-old emails or spam that there's no reason to look at.


All of this quietly contributes to the atmosphere's CO2 emissions. The use of people's smart devices and the internet accounts for a whopping 3.7 percent of the world's total CO2 emissions! According to scientists, online communication could globally consume nearly 20 percent of the world's electricity by 2025.


Did you know that:

  • 11.1 tons of CO2 is the average Estonian's annual carbon footprint.

  • 570,000,000 trees are needed to make Estonia carbon-positive.

  • The carbon footprint of 1000 emails in your inbox is equivalent to driving from Tallinn to Rapla by car.

Why bother deleting digital clutter?

  • Benefits for the climate and your wallet - before acquiring more data volume, free up the excess. By clearing cloud and disk space, you save money and energy.

  • Security - careless storage of data can be a security risk for you.

  • Less confusion and noise - finding and sharing information becomes easier.

  • Use it longer - you can use devices for a longer time, and the memory capacity won't fill up as quickly.

By the beginning of the week, nearly 1500 gigabytes of data deletion had been registered on Telia's 2024 Digital Cleanup Day website. This is equivalent to about half a million photos or the data size of one and a half thousand full-length movies, but the cleanup effort is still gaining momentum. Contribute for the sake of the environment and yourself!


WHERE TO START?

  • Delete apps you don't really use.

  • Ditch the newsletters you don't actually read.

  • Empty the recycle bins and downloads folders of your devices and environments.

  • Delete files you don't really need from the email server and cloud banks. Start with the biggest ones.

  • Abandon video transmission if sound is sufficient.

  • Drop the video in HD or 4K quality if standard quality is enough.

  • If you know what you're looking for, go straight to the right page instead of searching the web.

  • Organize photo albums both on your device and in the cloud where they are backed up - delete duplicate photos and pointless pics and keep only the ones you really want to see again.

  • Think about what your social media post gives to the world. If you can't figure it out, don't post.

  • If the image or file is available online, don't email it, just link to it. If not and you need to send it to several people, upload it yourself and link to it.

  • Block spammers. Redirecting them to a separate folder is still a resource for your devices and email servers!

  • Do all this regularly, not just on digital cleaning day. How does the last Friday of every month sound?

In addition to digital cleaning:

  • Shut down your computer when you are away for at least two hours.

  • Use your devices as long as possible. Look for a repair before buying a new one.

  • Take old electronics to the waste station, not the household waste bin.

Record your cleaned-up items here, and the IT department will inform you about the extent of digital clutter we've cleared. The form is open until 02.02.2024, after which we can make summaries and compare the contributions of employees and students.


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