GRAPHIC: The Environmental Impact of Computing


The folks at Infographic World put together this awesome image of the environmental impact of computing on the world (via Vizworld). Of course the graphic doesn’t go into how computing and the web can lead to lower carbon emissions, too, due to less transportation, shipping, and more efficient systems. But it’s still a great visual piece to look at.



Sad but its the fact of long as we try to do the best we can to reduce the footprint…that’s all that matters.

Sam Turner

Wow, I feel bad about using my computer so much now. I would really love to invest in green energy for the house, unfortunately, I’m not really in control of any of that. I’m at least gonna try and turn off my computer whenever I can and use lower brightness settings on my computer.

Alastair Breingan

How much is that in Elephants?

Unfortunately this is a typical unscientific graphic, with some of the statistics not showing actual energy values, and all the energy comparisons in different “units” (Eiffel Tower, Yankee Stadium).

What would be useful to know is how much folk would save via a 10 minute auto-hibernate versus manual shut down versus doing nothing. This would show that we can make big savings easily. Percentages are a good way to express savings, while keeping the Eiffels to a single unit (if they are considered necessary)


Ironically this blog is running on a computer server that will read this article via thousands of computers accessing the content over tens of computer controlled switches and routers.

Simple Living

Being in the IT industry for almost 10yrs, this graphic really took me by surprise. After reading and researching more and more into “green datacenters” etc… these numbers really make you think! I know this doesn’t take into consideration all the benefits, but either way this numbers are interesting. Would love to see the source data behind the graphic.


you cant use 1.7m MWs of energy. Load and capacity are measured in MWs, energy usage is in MWhs.


I use my computer’s idle time to run climate models for . It’s my justification for having more computing power than otherwise necessary.

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