22nd of APRIL 2020

Let’s clean up the digital trash and save the environment!

In the digital world, similar to the environment, there is a huge amount of trash that takes away storage space from our smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs and servers. If we delete all unnecessary files, apps, photos and videos, we are not just extending the life of our gadgets and saving a huge amount of CO2, but we also feel more balanced, we take control over our lives and we will be more efficient and satisfied. Sounds like a win-win!

 The carbon footprint of the internet and the systems supporting it account to about 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions, which is similar to the amount produced globally by the airline industry. Some studies estimate that in a decade the internet network will produce 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases.

The first national digital cleanup day took place in 2018 in Estonia, organised by telecommunication company Telia. Thank you for the inspiration, Telia!

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN DIGITAL CLEANUP?

STEP 1

Clean your smartphone up

Remove all applications that you haven’t used for a while or used only a few times. Be honest and bold! Delete all those unnecessary forgotten old apps and games that you have downloaded, but not yet even really tried. You won’t start using them later either – for sure! They consume energy even when they are not in use. Sort your photos and delete any duplicates and blurry ones.  The bonus – the performance of your phone will be better!

STEP 2

Clean your PC or laptop up

Clean your PC and delete files that are duplicates or have become useless. Sort your photos, delete duplicates and blurry ones. Go through the videos and delete watched or unnecessary files. Archive the important files. Be prepared to find really amazing things in your computer!

STEP 3

Clean your mailbox up

Filter emails by the oldest one and archive them. Unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t read. Select long conversations, pick the newest one and DELETE everything else. Search for common names, addresses, and words to round up similar emails so you can deal with them as mass. Be brave and click the DELETE button.

STEP 4

Make new arrangements

Think how to avoid sending emails. Instead of that, use more co-working places. Keep the files in a cloud in one place so there is no need to keep the same file in every computer. Stop sending ‘ok’ and ‘thank you’ emails! Be creative and live light!

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Every spam email – even if we don’t open it – releases an estimated 0.3 grams of CO2 into the atmosphere. An email with attachment releases 50 grams. Source
  • Each UK adult sending one less ‘thank you’ email a day would save over 16,433 tonnes of carbon per year – the same as 81,1522 flights to Madrid or taking 3,3343 diesel cars off the road. Source
  • It takes the same amount of energy to deliver billions of spam emails as two million US households use in a day. It also creates as much greenhouse gas as 3 million cars. Source
  • Around 62 trillion spam emails are sent every year, requiring the use of 33 billion units of electricity and causing 20 million tonnes of C02 per year. 80% of this electricity is consumed by the reading and deleting of spam.
  • A study shows that storing 1GB of email during one year consumes 32.1 kWh, that’s equal to baking 10 hours with your regular household oven.
  • According to the same study, an email weighs on average 230 kB (that’s worth 7.4Wh a year). So if you delete 30 emails you save 222Wh. That is the equivalent of a low energy light bulb (9 Wh) left on for a day. Source
 

HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH I DELETED?

Deleting Emails

1. Check the current size of your mailbox.

Go to Outlook > File > Mailbox settings > write down the number of free GB  in your mailbox. Don’t miss this, otherwise you won’t know the results of your cleanup efforts!

2. Filter emails by the oldest one you have, and collect them into one folder. 

3. Search for common names, addresses, and words to round up similar e-mails so you can deal with them as mass. Be bold and click the DELETE button.

4. Select long conversations, pick the newest one and DELETE everything else. If that is also not relevant, dare to get rid of the last one, too.

5. Unsubscribe from all newsletters that haven’t won your deeper attention. You won’t be reading them in future, for sure.

6. FYI emails (for your information) – just DELETE!

7. OK emails (chats with a large group of people, that you could do in other channels) – simply DELETE!

8. Block unwanted senders. Go to Home view > Junk > Block sender.

9. Turn off email notifications from apps and social media. 

10. Delete old appointments from your online calendars. All those overdue appointments pile up in your calendar folder, and create digital waste. Make deleting them your weekly routine.

Congratulations! You really did a good job!

Clean up mobile storage

1. Write down the current storage space left on your mobile phone

o   Android phones: Menu > Settings > Storage

o   iPhones: Settings > General > Storage

Don’t miss this, otherwise you won’t know your cleanup results!

2. Dare to delete everything unnecessary

Your phone should have at least 1 GB memory space free. Remove all applications that you haven’t used or used only a few times. Be honest and brave! Delete all those unnecessary, forgotten, old apps and games that you have downloaded, but never really used. You won’t start using them later either – for sure!

You can also delete your phone’s preinstalled applications, but make sure that you don’t remove system applications.

3. Care about your cache

It’s worth clearing your phone’s cache every now and then.

o   On Android phones, go to Settings > Tap the Storage heading > Find the application you want to clear > Clear cache

o   On iPhones, go Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data > Clear History and Data

Check also, how much space do your apps take, go Settings > General > Usage (iPhone). You should delete the heaviest apps and reinstall them again. You will be surprised how much more space this gives you.

4. Store your important documents in the cloud and photos and videos on external hard drives.

Do you really need ten versions of the same picture, or could you save only the best one? It’s typical to keep your most valuable memories on your phone ONLY and that is a huge risk to lose them all at once! So, store your personal photos and videos on external hard drives, and your important documents in the cloud services, such as iCloud, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive.

On external hard drives, your pics and videos are safe without taking up space on your phone. External storage is an inexpensive way to store your memories without worrying about losing them. If you haven’t done this before, now it’s time to start!

5. Go back to the original storage size of your phonesee the number you wrote down in the beginning, then check the current size and do the calculations – how many GBs did you manage to delete?

8. Finally, go back to our campaign site and fill out the number of deleted gigabytes. If you want to continue cleaning up, you can join us again and fill out the new numbers.

Congratulations! You really did a good job!

Source of information: Telia Eesti Digital Cleanup Day and Telia Company Digital Cleanup Day websites.