BRD as part of the Lets Do World started to organize digital cleanup as alternative to physical cleanup from 2020. Digital Cleanup Day was born out of necessity to start a discussion on the growing ecological footprint and its impact on the climate and environment that the Internet and its supporting systems have. With the Digital Cleanup Day Let’s Do It World wants to grow awareness of the invisible digital waste and to invite people to critically assess their own digital habits.Over half of the population on Earth uses the internet, but besides its positive effect on our modern societies, it also creates its own waste – according to research the CO2 emissions of the Internet and its supporting systems are higher than the World’s airline industry’s emissions. In 2020, the ICT sector is estimated to have consumed on average 7% of the World’s energy production and emits each year 900 million tons of CO2. Almost all online activities increase our carbon footprint, but notably, video and photo take up to ⅔’s of all mobile data exchange. By 2025, it is estimated that data repositories will be using a fifth of all produced energy, as well as be some of the greatest polluters.
“2020 saw a jump in using digital solutions for work, entertainment, education, and many other purposes. At the same time, we traveled less but spent more time online. It is perhaps unknown that using digital devices and services consumes a lot of energy and therefore produces also CO2. We cannot yet estimate the exact measurements for the past year, but statistics show that data and the ICT sector’s energy consumption has been growing fast,” said Heidi Solba, The President and Head of the Network of Let’s Do It World, organizer of the Digital Cleanup Day.