This article was written by guest contributor Luke Smith.
Video conferencing has been on the rise for the last several years. As technology continues to advance, more people have access to strong W-Fi connections and better equipment. The COVID-19 pandemic caused video conferencing to become more popular than ever. People began holding virtual meetings for all sorts of reasons, causing platforms like MegaMeeting and Zoom to massively grow in the first year of the pandemic.
Now that we’re approaching a post-pandemic society, video conferencing is still prominent and popular. People have started to see the benefits of connecting with others via video chat. It’s convenient, costs less money, can be done from anywhere, and it’s inherently greener than meeting someone in person.
But, with so many businesses trying to adopt more sustainable practices, things can be done to make video conferences even more “eco-friendly”. Whether you’re working for a major corporation, or you’re self-employed, let’s cover a few ideas you can use to greenify your video conferences and reduce your carbon footprint.
Don’t Replace One Problem with Another
Video conferencing reduces the need for travel. That means fewer carbon emissions from planes, trains, and automobiles. However, it also means more data usage and a greater demand for electricity and Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, those resources are handled at facilities that often use fossil fuels. The greater the demand, the more fossil fuels will be used.
If we’re not careful, we’ll simply be replacing one environmental issue with another.
So, while there are already some green aspects to video conferencing, it’s important not to let this one innovation be the end of the road. Even on a personal level, it’s important not to rest on the idea that video conferences and remote work are green, and this is as good as it will get. You might not be able to control how data and storage are managed on a global scale, but there are things you can do to reduce your usage and dependency in your home and at work. Try things like:
● Setting a data limit for yourself
● Limiting background data while working
● Limit streaming services
● Combining video conferences whenever possible to avoid multiple lengthy meetings
These small measures can add up quickly. If everyone took the same sustainable approach to video conferencing and virtual work, in general, the remote work lifestyle could be even greener than it already is. It would also spark more demand for technological innovators to come up with new ways to store data that are better for the planet.
Using Your Energy Wisely
If you’re working from home, you probably have several electronic needs in your office. You might have your computer plugged in all day, as well as your phone charger. Maybe you even have a second monitor, a mini fridge, a heater, or a fan.
Simply put, you could be using more energy working from home than you realize. An in-person workplace isn’t much better, since multiple offices are relying on one energy source.
Whether you’re running your video conferences on a phone, tablet, or computer, they can use a lot more energy than just browsing online or typing up a document. You can make your conferences more energy efficient – especially at home – by utilizing a dedicated computer circuit for your home office.
A dedicated computer circuit will help to secure your connection, improve speed, and use less power. You’ll also reduce your risk of overloading standard home circuits. That isn’t just beneficial for the environment, but for your wallet, too. It’s not uncommon for a tripped circuit to cause major damage to computers and other electronics, and they aren’t always easy to fix. Getting a dedicated computer circuit is a small investment and when you’re working from home and want to keep things safe, secure, and sustainable, it’s a worthwhile addition to your equipment setup.
Offsetting Your Energy Use
There are things you can do every day – in the office or at home – to offset the energy you use during video conferences. Small, everyday changes can make a big difference. So, consider adopting greener habits, like:
● Utilizing natural light as much as possible
● Minimizing electricity usage
● Using energy-efficient devices
● Investing in solar panels
If you’re working from home, you should also consider things like cooking your own food rather than ordering delivery, as well as practice greener habits like taking shorter showers or only doing laundry when you have a full load.
Even if you’re working in an office, you can make greener choices to offset your technology use. Consider carpooling to work, bringing meals from home, and only keeping things on/plugged in at your desk when necessary.
Video conferencing is here to stay and will likely continue to grow and adapt as technology continues to advance. While it’s already helping businesses and employees cut back on carbon emissions, there’s still more work to be done. Let’s all try some of these ideas to keep our video conferences green and keep pushing for tech innovators to focus on sustainability in the future.
MegaMeeting solves the biggest challenges of modern video conferencing. For users, it is an all-in-one platform that delivers both video conferencing and webinars in a single, simplified interface. For attendees, it is 100% browser-based, making it highly accessible; joining a meeting is instantaneous from a single click. For enterprises, it is highly customizable, with white-labeling options for a private branded solution. For developers, it is API-driven and easy to integrate.
Powered by WebRTC, Node.js, React, and GraphQL, it is a cutting-edge platform that is fun and easy to use for users and developers alike.