As an ever increasing amount of our time is spent online, it’s hard to imagine ways that we can make this greener. Happily, it is possible, free, and a relatively quick process. The following took me an afternoon.
- Go through your ‘promotions’ folder in your email inbox. Unsubscribe from everything. This serves you in two ways – it will reduce the amount of spam mail you receive and so free up valuable server space. It will also remove some of the temptation to over consume. If you need something new, chances are you’ll have a point of purchase in mind anyway, and if you’re purchasing online, a quick search for ‘Store Name + discount codes’ should show you any voucher you’re afraid of missing out on.
- Delete all of your ‘promotional’ and ‘social’ emails. Again, the data contained within these emails is stored somewhere. If you delete the things you’re never going to look at, you make the storage space available for other data and this in turn means that increasing amounts of storage isn’t necessary.
- Turn off notification emails on your social media. Facebook and Twitter really don’t need to email you every time people interact with you. This will keep your ‘social’ tab nice and empty, and mean you won’t spend as much time clearing it out in future.
- Switch your browser to Ecosia. I’ve spoken about this before, but basically it’s like Google, except the ad revenue you generate goes towards planting trees.
- If you’re in the UK, sign up to the Mailing Preference Service. Though not technically decluttering your life online, it’s worth doing as it stops unsolicited post to your address.
- In addition to the Mailing Preference Service, sign up to the Post Office’s own version. This is slightly more convoluted, but absolutely worth doing. It prevents such a huge amount of waste every year per household.
Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list – there are doubtless loads of other things you can do in order to keep your digital impact down.
Do you have any suggestions to add to the list? I would love to hear them! As ever, you can contact me here or on Twitter.