How Googling is Damaging our Earth ?

How Googling is Damaging our Earth


How Googling is Damaging our Earth ?

In Today’s information technology era, we can’t imagine our life without the Internet. The internet is damaging our Earth as per Google said that 100 searches are equal to a 60-watt light bulb burning for 28 minutes. “Specifically, we currently use about 0.0003 kWh of energy to answer the average search query,” Google said. “This translates into roughly 0.2g of carbon dioxide.”

Major of the population of this world is not aware of this fact. More than ever, people are using the Internet to shop, read, listen to music and learn. And businesses rely on Internet-based tools to operate and deliver their services efficiently. The Internet has created all kinds of new opportunities for society and the economy—but what does it mean for the environment?

Is Google really damaging the Earth?

Googling itself doesn’t directly damage the Earth, but the massive amount of energy required to power the data centers that store and process all of the information that we search for on Google is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Here are some ways in which Googling can indirectly damage the Earth:

  1. Energy consumption: Data centers require vast amounts of electricity to power the servers, cool the equipment, and maintain optimal conditions for the hardware. According to estimates, global data centers consume around 3% of the world’s electricity and produce 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to the carbon emissions of the entire airline industry.
  2. Electronic waste: The rapid pace of technological innovation means that electronic devices, including servers and other computer hardware used by data centers, become outdated quickly and are often discarded. Electronic waste poses a significant environmental threat due to the hazardous materials it contains, which can leach into the soil and water, contaminating ecosystems.
  3. Resource depletion: The manufacture of electronic devices requires the extraction of rare and precious metals from the earth, which can contribute to habitat destruction, soil erosion, and water pollution. The demand for these resources is increasing as more and more data centers are built to meet the growing demand for internet services.

While Googling itself may not directly damage the Earth, the vast infrastructure required to support our digital lives has a significant impact on the environment. It’s important for individuals and organizations to be aware of this impact and take steps to reduce their carbon footprint, such as using energy-efficient devices and supporting renewable energy sources.

Some facts on how Googling is damaging the Earth

  • Energy consumption: Google’s data centers consume vast amounts of energy to power the servers and cooling systems. In 2019, Google used 12.2 terawatt-hours of electricity, which is equivalent to the amount of energy used by the entire city of San Francisco for a year.
  • Carbon footprint: The energy consumption of Google’s data centers has a significant carbon footprint. In 2019, Google emitted 4.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the emissions of nearly a million cars.
  • Electronic waste: The rapid pace of technological innovation means that servers and other computer hardware used by data centers become outdated quickly and are often discarded. Electronic waste is a significant environmental threat, as it contains hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, and cadmium that can pollute soil and water. In 2019, the e-waste generated globally amounted to 53.6 million metric tons, with servers and other computer hardware used by data centers contributing significantly to this waste.
  • Water consumption: Data centers also consume large amounts of water for cooling systems. They can consume up to 200 liters of water per second, and some large data centers consume as much water as a small city. In some drought-prone areas, such as California, this can exacerbate water shortages.
  • Resource depletion: The manufacture of electronic devices requires the extraction of rare and precious metals from the earth, with an estimated 320 tons of gold and 7,500 tons of silver used annually in electronic devices.

Google has been working to answer that question and enlisted the help of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab ) to gather more data. Their study shows that migrating all U.S. office workers to the could save up to 87 per cent of IT energy use—about 23 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, or enough to power the city of Los Angeles for a year. The savings are associated with shifting people in the workforce to Internet-based applications like email, word processing and customer relationship software. * You can find pdf of study here

These results indicate that the Internet offers huge potential for energy savings. Google is especially excited that Berkeley Lab has made its model publicly available so other researchers and experts can plug in their own assumptions and help refine and improve the results. Check here

Of course, understanding the impact of shifting office applications to the cloud is only part of the story, which is hosted a summit called “How Green is the Internet?” to explore these questions in greater detail. At the summit, experts presented data on how the growth of Internet infrastructure, including devices like phones and tablets, can impact the environment. Google also saw great excitement about the potential for entirely new Internet-enabled tools in areas like transportation, e-commerce and digital content to deliver huge energy and carbon savings. Google has posted the videos from those sessions and invites you to take a look here

Google goals in hosting the summit and supporting the Berkeley Lab study was to identify and encourage new research on this topic. Google continues to work to answer some of these questions, and Google hopes others will too.

Tips to help reduce the environmental damage of Googling:

  • Use energy-efficient devices: Choose energy-efficient devices when browsing the web, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Look for devices with Energy Star certification, which meet strict energy efficiency guidelines.
  • Use a search engine that supports green energy: Look for a search engine that is powered by renewable energy sources such as wind or solar. Some examples include Ecosia and GreenGeeks.
  • Reduce unnecessary searches: Before conducting a search, ask yourself if you really need to search for that information. If possible, try to reduce the number of searches you perform.
  • Use browser extensions: Use browser extensions such as “Green Web” or “Carbonalyser” that can help you find websites that have a lower carbon footprint.
  • Clear cache and cookies: Regularly clearing your cache and cookies can help reduce the energy consumption of your device.
  • Use dark mode: Using dark mode on your device can help reduce the energy consumption of your device’s display.
  • Support renewable energy: Encourage tech companies to invest in renewable energy sources, and support renewable energy initiatives in your community.

By implementing these tips, you can help reduce the environmental impact of Googling and promote sustainable practices in the tech industry.


Google is a great tool to search for information online but somewhere it cost to our environment. it is good to see that Google and Barclays Lab are trying to find out the proper solution to reduce the energy consumption of Internet Search of Google.

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