With the arrival of Reliance Jio 4G network during late 2016, the data prices fall significantly in India. India has the lowest data charges in the world. With the introduction of cheap data plans it is not surprising that streaming high definition (HD) movies, shows and music on other online platforms have become a common practice.
According to a research by scientists in the UK at the honorable Royal Society, video streaming in HD on a smartphone produces approx. eight times more emissions as compared to standard definition (SD). Some of the viewers might not be aware of the difference between 480p and 720p streaming.
The scientists requested online platform companies and regulators to limit the streaming resolution. They said to set the default resolution to SD in order to reduce per capita carbon emissions and combat climate change. As per the reports “Arguably decisions on limiting streaming resolution should be taken by platforms and regulators rather than consumers.”
The report further added that the estimated contribution of digital sectors to global emissions scales from 1.4% to 5.9% of the global total.
According to the report, there is another simple way to save energy wherein users should turn off their screens while streaming music if they are just listening to it and not watching. As per them such small moves could save up to 5% of the emissions from a streaming service, a reduction when compared to the achievement by running YouTube’s servers via renewable energy.
The report also recommends various measures which can be applied by consumers, the government, and industry in order to reduce their impact on the sustainability of the planet.
Manufacture of phones, tablets, laptops and smart TVs is a carbon intensive process and people replace their smartphones very often every other year or so. But if we use a mobile phone for two years or more than two simply means that the carbon emissions used in manufacturing represents about half of the total emissions which it will generate throughout its lifetime.
“If individuals keep their phones for four years instead of two, this contribution is halved,” said the Royal Society.