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Practical Tips to Reduce your Carbon Footprint

by Chris Smith

If you're a developer, like me, or someone who works on a computer all day, here are some ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. Essentially it's all about saving energy and reducing any wasted energy from our daily routine. If you work from home it can help reduce your energy bills too.

Computer power

Computers still use a lot of energy when in standby or sleep modes. If you're not going to use your computer for a couple of hours, shut it down fully, switching off at the plug.

Set your computer to go into standby or sleep mode when left idle for a few minutes. It'll still use power but at a lower rate.

Reduce your monitor brightness if you don't need it. Reducing this from 100% to 70% can save 20% of the energy your monitor uses.

If you just need to do a quick search for something that does not require the use of a desktop screen, use your phone instead. It still uses power obviously but not as much.

Reduce work

Bookmark sites you visit regularly and visit them directly. Going via a search engine each time uses more energy.

Avoid any unneccessary video streaming. Can you use an audio version, like a podcast, instead? Is there a text transcript available? Turn off any auto-play features so that you don't start streaming unwanted video content. Close tabs that you're not using to stop them from streaming video or audio in the background.

Reduce the number of emails you send and receive. Talk in person if you can. Try not to reply to all. Unsubscribe from any newsletters that you don't actually read. Don't send email newletters to people who may no longer want them - check periodically.

Does the whole team need to be in a video call? Could just 2 or 3 people handle it just as well?


Work with and support companies who are committed to reducing their carbon footprint, ideally those who run on renewable energy sources.

Avoid changing your hardware too often if you can. Shipping hardware across the globe has a big impact.