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  • Writer's pictureThe Arts VA

Carbon Footprint… How You Can Reduce Yours!

At The Arts VA, our carbon footprint is very important to us. Working virtually, we are able to minimise how much we travel, but as we rely on email, video calls, streaming and social media to communicate with our clients, we understand that everything we do online has an impact on the environment. So, what can we do to reduce our internet carbon footprint?

Cup, paper with pen and text: "reducing my carbon footprint"

Did you know that over four billion of us are active internet users? That’s just over half of the global population! Whether it’s streaming music and videos, promoting your business on social media or sending a quick email to a client, each time we go on the internet we emit a few (or more) grams of CO2.

This is due to the energy needed to run our devices, power the networks and even the servers and data centres used to support the internet. The carbon footprint of our gadgets, the internet and systems supporting them accounts for 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions - this is similar to the airline industry!

While some large IT companies have committed to 100% renewable energy, we wanted to find out what changes - no matter how small - we can make to help reduce the internet’s global footprint.


Every time we send an email, 4g of CO2 is emitted. An email with a large attachment is more like 50g! Emails are an essential part of a business, but small everyday changes can help:

  • If you can, swap the attachment for a link to a document instead.

  • Limit hitting ‘reply all’ – think about who really needs to receive the email.

  • Unsubscribe from newsletters you no longer need and think twice before adding your email address to mailing lists.

  • Where possible, chat to someone face-to-face rather than over email. Even a text generates less CO2, but avoid using images and emojis.

  • Deleting old or unwanted emails can help reduce your carbon footprint as these all need to be stored on servers somewhere.

  • Think before you reply and cut back on unnecessary emails. If every adult in the UK sent one less “thank you” email, it could save 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year.

If you struggle to keep on top of your emails, a VA can help you detox your inbox.


We often use Google for research but every time someone searches on the internet, there’s an output of GHG gases as it draws information from multiple servers.

  • If you know the website you need, go straight to it rather than searching for it.

  • Save websites you regularly use in your favourites to cut back on your internet searches.

  • For quick searches, use your tablet or smartphone rather than powering up your laptop or computer.


Store important files and documents on a green cloud provider, such as Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. Apple has also committed to becoming 100% carbon neutral.


If you’ll be away from your computer or laptop for more than two hours, turn it off and, when it’s powered down, unplug your computer as it still draws energy.


We watch videos online for all sorts of reasons, from watching TV shows and movies to adverts and research. This accounts for 60% of the world’s internet traffic and generates 300 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. To help reduce that, you can:

  • Turn off autoplay to prevent videos playing unnecessarily.

  • Closing any tabs you are not using to prevent videos playing in the background.

  • Cut back on using videos just to listen to audio, such as white noise on YouTube.

Reuse not renew

Don’t throw away your IT equipment too quickly, try getting it fixed before replacing it.

Head to Climate Care for more information about how to reduce your internet carbon footprint.

The Arts News

  • If you haven’t got a ticket to The National Lottery’s The Big Night of Musicals, hosted by Jason Manford at the AO Arena in Manchester, you’ll be able to catch it on the BBC. The event takes place on 24th January but will be aired on BBC One on 29th January.

  • Our friends at Ammonite are looking for a full time Draughtsperson and Studio Assistant. The role will start on 1st March and will be based in their London office, though flexible working will be considered. Check out their Instagram post for full details.

We'd Love to Hear From You!

If you would like help sorting through your emails or want to know how you can work with The Arts VA, head to our contact us page to arrange a chat with Charlie.


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