How to calculate your digital carbon footprint from social media apps

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Social media apps are a great way to stay connected with your friends and family living in different parts of the world.

You can stay updated about the latest trends, events, memes, and news with just a few taps on your smartphone. These apps have now become an integral part of our lives, and many people have become addicted to them.

While scrolling endlessly through your social media apps can be a lot of fun, it can also have a negative impact on the planet.

When you spend a lot of time on social media apps, you are contributing to the increasing carbon emissions in the environment.

A website based in the UK has now developed a tool that helps you calculate your personal carbon footprint, and in this article, we will tell you how to find out your digital carbon footprint.

A UK-based comparison website, Compare the Market, has developed a calculator that allows you to calculate the amount of carbon emitted by you as you use your favorite social media apps.

The tool lets you calculate your digital carbon footprint from apps such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Reddit, etc.

The site claims that TikTok leads in terms of the most carbon footprint at 2.63g CO2 Eq per minute. It is followed by Reddit in second place at 2.48g CO2 EQ per minute and Pinterest in third place, emitting 1.3g CO2 Eq per minute.

Also read: How to Prevent Eye Strain from Digital Devices

Other social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook are also responsible for large emissions of 1.05g CO2 Eq, 0.87g CO2 Eq, and 0.79g CO2 Eq per minute, respectively.

Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Twitch have a relatively lower carbon footprint in comparison at 0.71g CO2 Eq, 0.60g CO2 Eq, and 0.55g CO2 Eq per minute, respectively.

The popular video streaming platform YouTube has the least impact on the environment out of all apps at 0.46g CO2 Eq per minute.

The website lets you calculate your digital carbon footprint by using its calculator tool. In order to do so, head over to Compare the Market website and then scroll down, where you will find a section to calculate your everyday and annual carbon footprint.

Compare the Market

Enter the time you spend on social media apps every day (in minutes), and the website will show your carbon emissions after you press the Calculate button.

After doing so, you will be presented with your personal digital carbon footprint report that will show you daily and annual carbon emissions for every social media platform that you use.

It is said that even spending 5 minutes every day on all the ten social media sites is equivalent to over 20kg of carbon annually, which is equal to over 84.5km of driving.

According to Global Web Index July 2021, users spend an average of 2 hours 24 minutes on social media applications resulting in carbon emissions of 60kg CO2 Eq per user per year, which is equivalent to driving 535 km in a light vehicle in France.

This totals to around 262 million tons CO2 Eq of carbon emission per year for 4.33 billion mobile users worldwide. It contributes a total of 0.61% to the total carbon emissions worldwide.

The data for calculating average carbon emissions per minute for each social media platform is derived from a report in 2021 by Greenspector.

It conducted a study on the environmental impact of social media apps using a Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone running Android 8 Oreo.

The study included popular social media apps available globally, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube.

The firm, in its report, compared the different aspects of the apps, such as “carbon impact, consumption of energy and data exchanged.”

Many other things contribute to the overall carbon footprint, global warming, and environmental degradation of our planet.

If you are really serious about reducing your carbon footprint, then you should take more significant steps such as switching to a purely vegetarian diet, taking public transport instead of driving, and minimizing the use of air conditioners.

It is also important to note that one person alone cannot save the planet, so it is necessary for all of us to contribute our bit and protect our future generation from any potential disaster due to climate change and global warming.

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