Searching the internet is an essential part of daily life, but are you aware of how much energy you're using every time you surf?
We are experiencing the peak of the information age, and thanks to wireless internet technologies, it's happening in a less resource intensive way. Instead of printed books we have eBooks, and instead of newspapers, publishing houses operate sophisticated websites that allow for up-to-the-second reporting.
It would seem like the internet has ushered in an era of creating and disseminating information in a more environmentally friendly fashion, but in actuality, it's only made the energy used to produce and share information harder to see.
From the energy used by our computers, to the the communications infrastructure linking everything together, to the service providers themselves; each component that assists in the transport or processing of information over the Internet uses energy.
We conduct hundreds, if not thousands of Google searches a day, yet we rarely stop to think about the amount of energy required to generate these temporary, yet intangible, answers to our most pressing questions.
The infographic below helps illustrate the massive energy consumption of these half-second Google searches (click to enlarge):
Energy audits like those provided by the graphic's creator, WellHome, are a great place to start if you're worried about the energy-consumption of your internet gadgets and wireless gizmos. You can also look into energy saving power strips that eliminate vampire energy usage, and outlet monitors that provide wireless updates about how much power your gadgets are using.
Image Credit: Flickr - Bryce_Edwards