Every time you save one gigabyte of data to the cloud, you use 3 to 7 kWh of energy. Think about how many people save documents, photos, videos, etc. to the cloud every single day. That energy adds up. But why does it take so much energy?
When you save a text document to the cloud,
This process, including the data transfer, storage, and data center cooling, takes a million times (for real) more energy than saving that text document to your computer. Email is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions from the cloud. In fact, the carbon footprint of the emails that the average office worker receives every year is 0.6 metric tonnes (0.66 tons) of CO2 equivalent (Richards, 2018). Copying ten people on an email you send can multiply its carbon footprint by four.
For the next two weeks, take some of the individual actions listed below to reduce your cloud footprint.
Adamson, J. (2017, June 27). Carbon and the Cloud. Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://medium.com/stanford-magazine/carbon-and-the-cloud-d6f481b79dfe.
Richards, E. C. (2018, February). The Carbon Cost of an Email. Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://carbonliteracy.com/the-carbon-cost-of-an-email/.
Castelet, M. (2019, November 12). Going green: How to Reduce Digital Pollution. Retrieved September 06, 2020, from https://www.welcometothejungle.com/en/articles/how-to-reduce-digital-pollution.
The fast fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. Fast fashion is a term for the type of clothes that are produced, bought, and thrown away quickly. It’s unsustainable, but it’s a huge part of today’s society. According to a 2019 study, 37% of people aged 16-24 say it would be embarrassing to wear the same outfit to multiple events. The Wall Street Journal said that, “the average person will buy 68 garments [in 2020], and wear each piece only seven times before disposing of it” (Foussianes, 2020). This creates an endless cycle of producing, buying, and throwing away that harms people and the environment.
Many big clothing companies pay their workers less than minimum wage for laboring long hours every day in unhealthy conditions. “A recent New York Times investigation ... revealed that workers creating Fashion Nova clothing in Los Angeles were being paid as little as $2.77 an hour,” almost $4.50 under federal minimum wage in the US (Foussianes, 2020). The conditions of the factories are harmful to workers, and sometimes deadly. In 2013, a Bangladesh garment factory collapsed, killing 1,100 people. The fast fashion industry is harming its workers and our environment. It’s time to take action.
For the next two weeks, avoid buying clothing from fast fashion brands. You’ll be helping the environment and garment factory workers.
Comment below or use #project5billion on social media to share your favorite sustainable clothing brands with us!
Try buying used clothes from consignment shops or second-hand stores. You’ll be eliminating the production of a new garment, and you’ll be saving some money!
If you have to buy new clothing, buy from ethical, sustainable brands. If that’s not possible and you have to buy from a fast fashion brand, keep the clothes for as long as possible.
Write a letter to an unsustainable garment company in your area telling them why you’ve chosen not to shop there and what they have to change for you to buy their products. The more letters, the better, so try to get your family and friends involved in your letter-writing campaign.
Crumbie, A. (2019, Sep. 5). What is fast fashion and why is it a problem? Ethical Consumer. Retrieved Aug. 22, 2020, from https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/fashion-clothing/what-fast-fashion-why-it-problem.
Foussianes, C. (2020, Jan. 17). What Is Fast Fashion, and Why Is Everyone Talking About It? Town & Country. Retrieved Aug. 22, 2020, from https://www.townandcountrymag.com/style/fashion-trends/a30361609/what-is-fast-fashion/.
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