Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final phase of our Digital Cleanup. It’s time to complete your digital cleanup journey and enjoy the benefits of a clean and organized digital space.

To contribute to the Digital Cleanup running in parallel with the Virtual Institute, the SIETAR Executive Team, Board and Committee Heads have challenged themselves to reduce the number of emails and stored documents by 50%. We started out using 484 GB of cloud storage. As of 30 June, we’ve eliminated 20% and we’re confident we’ll meet our target before the end of the Virtual Institute. Track our progress and respond to our email poll on the dedicated webpage

During the challenge, we mostly focused on the use of digital devices. However, the largest carbon and energy impact comes from the production of digital devices (between 45 and 70% depending on the energy mix of the country).

The last stage of our challenge: Do not buy any new electronic equipment in the next 2 months!

Here are some last tips to reduce the impact of the production of digital devices:

  • Reduce the number of digital devices: ask yourself every time you buy digital equipment if you really need it, and not only want it. For instance, ask yourself if you need two phones (work vs personal phone) and instead prefer using one phone with two sim cards.
  • Extend the life of digital devices: you can buy eco-designed devices, easily repairable devices or buy refurbished equipment on sites such as BackMarket. You can also maintain and repair your equipment using sites such as iFixit. Buying a refurbished phone instead of a new phone enables you to reduce significantly its environmental impact: you can save 175g of e-waste, 260kg of raw material, 80kg of CO2 and 68 000 liters of water!
  • Think about the end of life of your products: you can give it to an association that will provide a second life to digital devices. It is also possible to sell equipment to be refurbished on websites such as BackMarket. If your electronic equipment is unusable, make sure to recycle it in a suitable container (e-waste is very polluting)!

Some final useful information:

  • Reduce video streaming: video represents 80% of the GHG emissions of internet traffic: 1 hour of streaming = 3kg of CO2
  • Reduce the quality of videos watched to 480p max: going from a 720p video to a 480p video is dividing by 3 its impact.
  • Use Wi-Fi instead of cellular data (3G/4G), as using Wi-Fi is more power-efficient and generates three times less carbon impact
  • Use by default an eco-responsible search engine to compensate my carbon impact (ex: Ecosia)
  • Reduce the number of web searches: by creating “favorites” tabs for your favorite sites, by directly entering the url address. A google search emits on average 40g of CO2.
  • Choose digital devices with environmental labels when you have to buy them.

Thank you for joining us on this journey. We hope you found it as rewarding as we did.

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