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Study says keeping your cam off during video calls is better for the environment

According to a 2021 report from Purdue University, Yale University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that was published in Science News, turning off your webcam during a videoconferencing call is actually demonstrably better for the environment. According to the study, the difference made by keeping your camera off is a carbon emission reduction of up to 96%.

As explained by FastCompany, coolant used to keep data centers from getting too warm makes up a carbon footprint amassed by video calls around the globe. The publication explains that one hour of videoconferencing (or streaming) emits the same amount of carbon dioxide as about 11% of a gallon of gas. When you take into account that Zoom alone hosts 55 billion videoconference hours each year, it becomes quite apparent how much these emissions add up.

See also: Cisco redesigns offices into ‘collaboration spaces’ to better cater to hybrid work

Other videoconferencing and streaming services are starting to take note of their emissions as well. Netflix has pledged to halve its carbon emissions by 2030, as well as purchase carbon credits. The issue of emissions continues to run deep through our current reality, from emerging AI technology, our streaming platforms we use in our leisure time, and our meeting tools we use while working with others remotely.

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