As we promote bare habits, giving you some tips to browse bare is a requirement.
This article is splitted into two sections, one based on your internet usage
and one based on your computer configuration.
As most of the technology pollution comes from internet (networks,
datacenters…), following the first section would have a way more important
impact on the pollution you produce than the second one. But do not forget
the second one though as it still is an important pollution origin.
see facts section.
All the following tips will make your browsing barer and greener from the internet point of view, but they will also allow your computer to do less calculation, increasing, by doing so, time between charges and even it’s lifespan. And as avoiding bying a new computer or smartphone is one of the most ecological act (or non-act) you can do, increasing it’s lifespan will only help you on this way.
I. Tips about your browsing habits
No social network
This is a classical one. But as social networks manage a lot of data (which is polluting and clearly not nice), distract you with advertising, video, useless articles (which are all very consuming) and take you away from their original name goal “social”. Avoiding them is an important step if you want to consume and pollute less.
As video streaming is a massive actor of the internet pollution, stop or reduce your video streaming time can be a really good thing. Is watching a video tutorial really usefull when you have a text tutorial ? Do you really need to watch the last released blockbuster ? It is a nice way to come back to books actually…
Low definition streaming
For stuff you cannot stop watching, doing it in low definition is also a good option. Most of my friends listen music on youtube, this is not a good practice but watching it in 144p is still better than a useless HD definition. A 480p resolution is clear and way enough for most of internet video content.
Streaming VS downloading
If you know that you will listen this song more than one time, watching it’s youtube video again and again is a pure waste of resources, it is power consuming for you and datacenters. Downloading it is the really best option in this case. For movies, it’s another story as you won’t watch the movie ten times (normally I mean), so streaming and downloading pollution should be equivalent.
As an ecosia/qwant/duckduckgo/google… research can be an important source of power consumption (not for you but for the datacenter actually), having each or your frequently visited websites registered into your favorite bar (on your browser or simply as shortcut on your desktop) can save energy from being worthlessly consume and time (for you) by going directly on your site.
Ps: This tips can sound silly, but it is a really important one actually. In an ideal bare browsing experience, the less pages you have to visit to find the right one, the better.
II. Tips about your computer configurations
Some of these tips are directly linked to internet but as it is more about changing your configuration and not changing your browser habits, I put them here.
These advice has been tested on Windows, I assume that some of them are available on other systems but not all of them.
Always activate the saving battery mode
With this simple thing, you can save like 1-2h of autonomy.
Reduce screen resolution
I tried to reduce my computer screen resolution to 800x600 (like an old computer) and my computer autonomy switched from 3-4h to 8-11h which is pretty cool. Of course, 800x600 resolution is really low and for some applications, it can be an issue I think. But the only one which has been a real issue for me was web browsers. It hurt your eyes, text is really big and it’s really hard to see anything. To solve this problem, you can simply change your browser default zoom. Personnaly, I choose 70-75%, it’s nice and clear. On Opera, Chrome and Edge, you can simply define a default zoom, but on Firefox, you need (I think) an extension, mine is called “Fixed Zoom”.
Actually, this tips is linked to your browsing experience as websites sometimes distribute smaller images to small screen resolution computers, avoiding, by doing so, useless calculation.
Ps 1: You can also switch to 960x540 to keep the 16:9 ratio.
Ps 2: This advice cannot be followed by graphists/illustrators. Most of the design/illustration softwares becomes totally unreadable with a small resolution.
As the “Is a black pixel less consuming ?” question is still in debate and depends on what kind of screen you have, I won’t say anything about that. But I still think that a simple unicolor background should consume less than an animated one. And even if I really loved my gorilla background image, I realized that I was really rarely looking at it so I switched to a simple black background.
A simple option to reduce you computer consumption would be to reduce its luminosity.
Optimize video for autonomy
In your parameters, for video reading, you have two choices, optimize for video quality or optimize for battery autonomy. Of course, the autonomy optimization consumes less.
Deactivate useless background synchronization
You can deactivate your automatic mail, google drive / dropbox etc synchronization. For me, manual synchronization is way enough.