Marketers who are on a mission to go green with more electronic communications need to think again, as a simple Google search results in 1-10 grams of CO2 emissions. And the scary part is that Internet users conducted over 131 billion searches in 2009. That's 3.6 billion searches every day and 25 million searches a minute.
What's more, most computers create 40-80 grams of greenhouse gas emissions per hour through their electricity use - depending on electricity source and computer type - so the aggregated greenhouse gas emissions just from computers is sizable. And that excludes servers and fiber-optic lines.
So what's an environmentally sensitive online marketer to do?
The truth is no matter what brands you are manufacturing and marketing you are making an impact on the environment, so do your best to be mindful of the impact and to minimise that impact as much as possible. Here are a few suggestions to help hard-core green marketers ensure your digital brand communications take the environment into account.Carbon offset
Firstly, reduce your digital footprint as much as possible and what you can't reduce you can offset via organisations that support carbon-reducing projects such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects.Email marketing
Despite the effects of the Internet on the environment, you will still go a long way to reducing your brand's impact by moving away from printed material to digital marketing. The harvesting of forests for paper to print and mail is no longer necessary. You will not only reduce the carbon emissions from printing but also the volumes of environmentally hazardous materials used in the print industry.Green website hosting
Look for hosting partners that constantly seek to improve their data-centre efficiency. Processors have increased computing power, while decreasing energy demand, and new ways have been developed to keep massive server farms cool.
And lastly, on a personal note, be aware that using the Internet is not carbon neutral so think twice before you google and don't leave your computer on when you're not using it.