Why you should turn off your camera during videoconferencing meetings: Femme Actuelle Le MAG

Want to stay in your pajamas all day? Tired of turning on your camera during meetings and having to hide the clutter? We've found the perfect excuse to give your boss: protect the planet. Because by leaving your camera off, your carbon footprint could be reduced. This is in any case what reveals a study published on January 25, 2021 by researchers from the universities of Yale, Purdue and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The containment put in place to fight the COVID-19 epidemic was, at first, beneficial for the planet. The reduction in the number of trips in particular has resulted in significant drop in global CO2 emissions. But the generalization of teleworking has drastically increased digital pollution, and the consequences are already worrying. Mostly adopted by companies, teleworking is likely to continue, even after the end of the epidemic. Good news, a few simple steps to take could significantly reduce our carbon footprint. First of all, no longer using the camera during video conferences.

Between 150 and 1000 grams of CO2 for an hour of video call

Researchers have calculated the footprint of the video (Zoom, Teams, Skype, Meet) used during meetings in several countries, including France, and the result is appealing: during an hour of video meeting, and according to the quality of the image used, between 150 and 1000 grams of CO2 are issued.

Also according to the study, if this consumption continues until the end of 2021, it would take a 71,600 square kilometer forest (twice Indiana) to sequester the CO2 released. The amount of water required (2 to 12 liters per hour) for processing and transmitting data during a videoconference would be sufficient to fill 300,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Turning off your camera: the ideal solution

Faced with this observation, the researchers tried to find solutions to reduce the carbon footprint linked to videoconferencing. One of them seems to stand out: no longer turn on your camera during meetings. This would reduce our digital carbon footprint by 96%, something to think twice before turning on your camera at the next meeting.

Teleworking: how to reduce your carbon footprint?

According to the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, "the digital is responsible for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions and the sharp increase in usage suggests that this carbon footprint will double by 2025."Digital pollution is therefore a major issue of the 21st century.

Fortunately, there are simple things you can do on a daily basis to limit your digital carbon footprint. Starting with the sorting the mailbox. Delete what you don't need and avoid sending too frequently. Did you know that the impact of emails is greater than that of air transport? This is enough to convince you to limit the pace.

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