Northeastern ITS shares 10 ways to take significant steps toward reducing your environmental impact and carbon footprint.

We all rely on digital devices and technology to work, study, and communicate, but it’s important to consider the environmental impact of digital habits. reports that “Every email sent, news article clicked, or photo shared generates greenhouse gases and accelerates climate change. Moreover, our digital environmental footprint comes not only from the energy required to upload the files but also from the storage of this data throughout its lifetime.” 

By participating in this 10-day digital sustainability challenge, you’ll take steps toward reducing your carbon footprint and promoting a more sustainable future. These daily challenges began on April 18, 2023, and will help you optimize digital devices, reduce paper waste and decrease your digital footprint, all while promoting sustainable practices. Join this journey towards a more sustainable future. 

Day 1: Backup and Organize

Back up all of your important files to an external hard drive or cloud storage service. Spend some time organizing your digital files and creating a systematic structure to make them easy to find. 

Day 2: Delete Unnecessary Files and Apps

Delete any files or applications that you no longer need or use. This will free up space on your device and reduce digital clutter. 

Day 3: Clear Cache and Cookies

Clear the cache and cookies on your web browser to speed up your device and improve its performance. 

Day 4: Optimize Email

Go through your email inbox and delete any old or irrelevant messages. Create filters to proactively sort out spam and unwanted emails. 

Day 5: Review Social Media Accounts

Review your social media accounts and remove any posts, comments, or photos that are no longer necessary or relevant. 

Day 6: Choose Sustainable Devices and Dispose Responsibly

Research and choose environmentally friendly devices when purchasing new technology. Compare models available at a discount on the Northeastern Computer Discounts page. When disposing of old devices, recycle them at a certified e-waste recycling center to prevent harmful materials from ending up in landfills. 

Day 7: Dim the Lights

Switch your devices to dark mode and turn down the brightness on your monitor. This can save energy and extend battery life (it’s easier on the eyes too).  

Day 8: Reduce Screen Time

Limit the amount of time you spend on digital devices by taking regular breaks and engaging in other activities that don’t require technology. Consider whether that email or chat is necessary or could a phone call or in-person conversation serve your purpose.  

Day 9: Print Less

Reduce the amount of paper you use by printing double-sided, only printing what you need, and using digital documents whenever possible. Learn more best practices by printing with PaperCut

Day 10: Use Digital Documents

Save and share documents digitally instead of printing them out. Use cloud storage services and access your files from anywhere. 

By completing this 10-day challenge, you’ll have taken significant steps toward achieving digital sustainability and reducing your environmental impact. 

Follow along on the 10-day Digital Sustainability Challenge through LinkedIn and the Tech Talk Community on Yammer. Remember to tag Northeastern ITS and use #NUDigitalSustainability.