According to the Royal Society: lowering the definition of the videos we watch on our smartphone would reduce our CO2 emissions.
Lowering the definition when watching a video on your smartphone would reduce CO2 emissions. At least that's what a study by the Royal Society, a famous British institution, suggests.
According to the Royal Society, a famous British institution, lowering the definition of the videos we watch on our smartphone would reduce our CO2 emissions. As this report explains, watching a video in Full HD or HD on your phone generates eight times more CO2 than in low definition.
Based on this observation, scientists from the Royal Society say that platforms such as YouTube, Netflix, Disney+ or Amazon Prime Video should limit the default definition available in SD. According to their data, streaming accounts for between 1.4 and 5.9% of global CO2 emissions worldwide. On this subject, a study published in 2019 confirmed that if YouTube made the decision to steam only the sound on some videos, it would avoid the emission of 500,000 tons of CO2 per year.
Simple actions to limit CO2emissions
It's true that some videos, especially those with album covers, could do without images, as people are mostly content to listen to music. This proposal is also one of those issued by the Royal Society. They estimate that these simple changes could save up to 5% of the emissions of a streaming service such as YouTube, Spotify or Deezer.
In addition, the researchers encourage consumers to keep their smartphones longer, due to the high level of pollution caused by the manufacture of each new model. As an ADEME study published in 2018 pointed out, our smartphones "before arriving in our homes, their manufacture, transport and distribution generate CO2 emissions and the mobilization of raw materials. We have to extract tons of rocks and earth for a few grams of minerals used for the chips in our smartphones".
Keep your smartphone for at least 4 years
So if you change your smartphone every two years, its manufacture alone will account for half of the CO2 emissions it will produce over its lifetime. Conversely, keeping your cell phone for four years would significantly reduce its ecological impact. Unsurprisingly, researchers are also favoring the purchase of used or reconditioned devices.
Finally, Royal Society scientists say the tech giants must play a role in providing transparent information about the energy consumption of their digital products and services. "There are many ways to achieve a zero carbon footprint, but digital companies have a central role to play," says Andy Hopper, lead author of the report and professor at the University of Cambridge.