Well to be precise, all the electrons that make up the data stored on the internet weigh as much as a strawberry: about 50 grams. That’s according to Vsauce (see his video at the bottom of this post). The data he used is now old data so I dunno, perhaps the web has ballooned to the weight of tangerine or something, but you get the picture.
But that doesn’t make the internet lightweight in every regard as the carbon footprint of the internet is another matter entirely.
Soon datacentres are expected to have a greater combined carbon footprint than the entire global aviation industry. And our activity on the web has a direct impact too. As this infographic details, producing the electricity needed for each Google search you make creates 0.7 to 7 grams of carbon dioxide emissions. 7 grams is equivalent to boiling a pot of tea or driving a car 52 feet.
But there’s some good news. Major players like Google, Facebook, Apple and others have committed to the goal of powering their data centres with 100% renewable energy.
We’re happy to be part of the solution too, as every website we host is powered by 100% renewable energy, making the ongoing running of our websites completely green. This isn’t using any vague carbon offsetting, rather the servers we use are powered by Ecotricity’s energy sourced completely from the sun, wind and sea.
So, by hosting your website with us, you can play your part in reducing the heavy carbon footprint of the web.