Online communication represents 7% of the world’s energy supply with Internet technologies, and the daily e-habits of Internet users are responsible for more than 360 million tons of CO2 per year. And given that the number of active internet users is growing rapidly, the situation is likely to get worse soon. To understand the problem, let’s briefly define the main sources of harm and find out if the Internet can become more environmentally friendly.
Conventional emails are known to be spam. The electricity needed to transmit billions of spam emails sent each year is equivalent to powering two million homes in the United States and generating the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by three million cars.
All social networks generate tons of CO2 annually. The most environmentally friendly conventional service is Twitter: it is estimated that a single tweet has a footprint of 0.02g CO2. However, the impact is still enormous, given the number of daily messages and robots.
One of the most popular social networks, Instagram, is sometimes more harmful: posting a photo emits 0.15 g of CO2, and scrolling for 1 minute on its newsfeed emits 1.5g CO2. These figures result from the complexity of the UX and the central servers used by the company.
Meanwhile, according to Freitag, messages sent via services such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger are a little less carbon than sending an e-mail. The thing is, messengers are widely used on smartphones and have a complex UX.
Considering the low-carbon web is a solution that has a simple UX, no ads, and doesn’t need central servers, it becomes real through Utopia P2P, a multi-tool ecosystem that has a messenger, a browser, email and payment system.
How does Utopia work?
Utopia is a third-generation mesh network where each user’s personal device acts as an independent Utopia P2P server. This approach reduces power consumption. Meanwhile, this is not the service advantage. Let us recall its main advantages.
Harmless and Serverless Web Browser
To use a conventional browser safely, a person must install anti-virus software. However, even the most expensive tools do not guarantee complete security, and even MacBooks can be damaged by malware. If a computer cannot work normally, a user will probably buy a new one. Thus, more CO2 will be generated: a study at the University of Edinburgh found that extending the life of a single computer and monitor from four to six years could avoid the equivalent of 190 kg of carbon emissions. Utopia P2P prevents such situations by being spam-free and moderating all websites in the built-in Idyll browser.
In a nutshell, it’s a completely anonymous web browser that works like the famous Tor project. However, Utopia’s proprietary solution is much more convenient to use and has more modern features. Idyll allows you to access websites automatically blocked by classic browsers, as well as sites created directly in the Utopia ecosystem. Nothing in this browser captures users’ IP addresses, collects cookies, or otherwise tracks their location or other personal data.
The next important “green” feature of Idyll is the fact that it is serverless. Officially, a single Google query issues 0.2 grams of CO2. Meanwhile, according to energy tech expert Chris Goodall, a 15-minute Google search generates from 7 to 10g of CO2. Thus, the average annual carbon footprint of grazing is equivalent to 10 million tons of carbon dioxide. If we talk about Utopia P2P, its impact is reduced thanks to the fewer number of web pages added. The ecosystem only lists those carefully checked, allowing them to go without a server.
For system authentication, no phone number or email is needed. This approach eliminates the need for authentication emails and SMS, which can impressively contribute to total CO2 emissions.
Although online payments are more environmentally friendly than using cash, they still need to be more sustainable due to central servers. Thus, cryptocurrency is meant to be more respectful of nature. However, in reality, it is invalid due to mining consequences. For example, the carbon emissions of Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency in the world, are equivalent to those of New Zealand, both emit nearly 37 megatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.
Utopia P2P changes the rules by introducing eco-sustainable Crypton mining that saves electricity and requires no additional software or hardware. All a miner needs is a computer.
Low emission instant messaging and email service
As we mentioned above, sending a message through a private messaging app has only a little less carbon footprint than sending an email (a person produces about 3.5 lbs of CO2e in a single day). To reduce the negative impact of online communication on the environment, Utopia provides its users with two eco-responsible solutions: uMail (anonymous alternative to traditional messaging) and uMessenger (decentralized solution for the instant exchange of text messages and voices with the possibility of voice substitution).
They do not require users to enter personal information. However, users can still send regular media, documents, and text messages without worrying about their security. Interception of traffic within this service is excluded – only the recipient will be able to read the sent message.
“Green” crypto exchange and crypto wallet
If you have in your uWallet Utopia the internal cryptocurrency, you can switch to a child product of this platform, CRP.io, to exchange it and earn money. In terms of sustainability, this solution is more optimal, since it is based on a decentralized network, which obviously consumes less electricity than its centralized alternatives. Otherwise, the functionality of this crypto exchange and crypto wallet is similar to other solutions in this industry: they are both anonymous, easy to use and guarantee super-fast withdrawals.
API for green custom solutions
And finally, developers can use the Utopia API to make their projects “greener” by integrating it into a website or any other web-based platform. Thus, they will be able to ensure complete anonymity of all visitors to the created web resource, as well as add all the ecological features described above.
Utopia P2P works like a mesh network. Therefore, it is only responsible for scope three emissions. Its carbon footprint has been assessed via Quantisa reliable greenhouse gas protocol according to which the annual emissions of the ecosystem are 42,500 kg.
This number is low, especially compared to other multifunctional tools like Facebook. For example, in 2020, Facebook generated 38,000 tonnes of CO2and even though it was 94% in 2017, its emissions are still almost 900 times higher than those of Utopia P2P.
The negative impact of using the web can be significantly reduced using Utopia P2P. This low-carbon mesh network saves electricity and allows users to get the most out of modern web tools without harming the environment. You can check it out right now – it’s completely free!