Metrics to zero

March 14, 2021

“For each metric, the ideal figure to minimize emissions would be zero. The ideal amount of data transfer to minimize emissions is 0kb, the ideal amount of data storage is 0mb, and the ideal distance from data center to web visitor is zero miles. You get the idea – if all the figures are zero, then the carbon emissions will also be zero.

I bet you’re thinking this doesn’t seem realistic, and you’d be right. It might be true that the most ecofriendly website is the one that doesn’t exist, but as web designers and developers, that’s not particularly helpful advice.”

p30, Sustainable Web Design, Tom Greenwood. A Book Apart, 2021

Tom’s point doesn’t go on to be “Let’s not make websites at all” but I think there is an argument that we should start by asking the question “Do we need to make this?”

The answer is probably “no” more often than we like to admit.