Global Digital Cleanup Day, driven by Estonians, to take place on April 22

  • 2020-04-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Let's Do It World Network will organize the first ever global Digital Cleanup Day on April 22, 2020 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, one of the world's oldest environmental movements.

Over half of the world's population uses the internet, whose CO2 emission is in the same range as that of global aviation. Each year about 62 trillion spam e-mails are sent, which causes 20 million tons of CO2.

People don't often realize that in the digital world there is also pollution that influences the actual environment. Almost all online activities increase our carbon footprint, said Anneli Ohvril, one of the initiators of the digital cleanup day.

In 2009, McAfee published a report which said that it takes the same amount of energy to deliver billions of spam e-mails as two million US households use in a day. By 2025, it is estimated that data repositories will be using a fifth of all produced energy, as well as be some of the greatest polluters.

Ohvril said that if, for instance, every Briton would forgo sending one thank you e-mail, the world would escape 16,443 tons of CO2 emissions a year, equal to emissions from 81,152 flights from London to Madrid.

"This is something to think about for everyone, whether all the e-mails that we send are really necessary," Ohvril said.

The organizers say that digital cleanup has a distinct and real effect. Removing digital waste clears storage space in devices, thus making them faster and saving valuable time. An organized digital workspace also has a positive psychological effect, as tidy workplace results in increased focus. Decluttering may help inspiration and forgotten ideas to resurface, too.

"The world is in lockdown, many countries have imposed severe restrictions of movement on their citizens who have to face weeks between their house walls. I am sure they have already cleaned their possessions, now it’s time to turn attention to the digital clutter of their lives," said Heidi Solba, president and head of network of Let's Do It World. 

Digital Cleanup Day invites everyone to sign up on digital.worldcleanupday.org and declutter their devices and delete unnecessary files on April 22.