Dear Friends and Colleagues,

In phase four of Digital Cleanup, we’re tackling our cloud and computer storage. As we accumulate more and more digital files, it’s easy to lose track of what we have and where it’s stored.

Did you know that 100 GB stored in the cloud is equal to 0.2 tons of CO2 emitted, according to the average US electric mix? To remind you, in 2050 we should emit less than 2 tons of CO2 per year per person.

Physical and cloud data centers consume a lot of energy and emit greenhouse gas emissions. You can reduce their negative impact by cleaning your computer(s) and IT equipment.

Your goal today: Delete 1GB of storage from your computer and phone storage!


5 key steps to clean up your cloud & local storage from your computer and phone:

  1. Delete duplicates and versions (if your file is on OneDrive SharePoint, it automatically creates document versioning).
  2. Do not forget to empty the trash (on your desktop and on the cloud).
  3. Clean up your download folder on your computer.
  4. Delete pictures and videos from your phone (pictures and videos take up a lot of space!).
  5. Backup important files to an external hard drive that is only switched on when you use it.

Some key resources:

  • Chowdhury, C. R., Chatterjee, A., Sardar, A., Agarwal, S., & Nath, A. (2013). A comprehensive study on cloud green computing: To reduce carbon footprints using clouds. International Journal of Advanced Computer Research, 3(8), 78-85.
  • Carbon and the Cloud, Stanford Magazine, 2017.

Stay tuned for the next email for our last activity.

Annelie, Grant, Papa and Tamara
The Virtual Institute Organizing Committee