Climate change is a global dilemma that most people in this world are largely concerned about. Ever since discovering that certain human-made gases like CFCs and excessive burning of fossil fuels, humans have resorted to finding ways to prevent the ozone layer from being further depleted.
Every industry has a department or sector that is committed to combating climate change. In the world of software engineers, they discovered that creating sustainable codes can help our environment immensely. This technique that they developed is called sustainable coding or more popularly known as green coding. Here’s an inside look at how this type of coding helps deal with climate change:
Minimizing Energy Consumption
Coding is the writing used by software developers to create instructions when developing software. Sustainable coding or green coding, on the other hand, is a method that has been popularized for environmental reasons. It refers to programming code that is written to produce formulas that minimizes energy consumption.
Software development can be a little tricky as it tends to include files, codes, or software that is unwanted by the user. This unwanted software is commonly called bloatware. It is the type of software that takes up space on a computer’s hard drive and makes excessive demand on its resources to operate.
So how does this add up to climate change? This type of software consists of a large number of useless functions and lines. Therefore, the computer’s processor is obliged to perform more calculations than it does with simpler software resulting in higher energy consumption that can lead to more carbon dioxide emissions.
Green codes can also be used to increase battery life for mobile devices, save watts, maximize power, and combine resources for a more efficient approach to solve a task.
Pollution is mainly caused by the waste people are throwing. By learning and using sustainable coding, software engineers can develop applications that lessen the use of paper, plastics, and other waste materials.
A great example of this is how businesses and offices use automated employee tracking and automated accounting software to record employees’ attendance and productivity. Instead of using time cards and printing sheets that will eventually be thrown out and thus producing waste, this software can help manage the information more sustainably.
But the problem with storage persists in the Cloud. The Cloud is where data is being stored via software and databases that can be accessed by using the internet. The problem with physical waste is resolved but digital waste is being accumulated. A user can deal with this by deleting obsolete or useless files that are stored on the Cloud.
The internet is also a product of coding and it is proof of the impact of coding on pollution. Technology allows people to work remotely which lessens air pollution in cities. Not needing to travel to and from work means that there is a chance that air pollution will decrease. It also saves needing to use office spaces using various collaborative software.
Software Development and Invention
There are lots of software that target the reduction of climate change and global warming. These programs are either developed or newly invented by technologists and software developers these past few years.
One good example of this is a mailing list service called Mailchimp. Mailchimp was invented and developed by a Dutch programmer named Danny Van Kooten. Initially, Mailchimp uses a large number of lines of code. Eventually, Van Kooten decided to refactor his plug-in, making it more efficient by using 20 kilobytes fewer data. 20 KB is a tiny number but since his plug-in is used by 2 million people, combining all these 20 KB, less energy is used every day.
Van Kooten’s idea was shared with web designers around the world and they called it sustainable web design. Technologists pushed this idea to measure the energy budget of every swipe and click in the information ecosystem.
If you have an idea like this in your mind, don’t hesitate to hire software developers because they know the first steps in coding and they can surely develop your idea into something useful and helpful.
Websites are also made with codes. Nowadays, numerous websites advocate reducing pollution to combat climate change. By clicking these websites, a person can contribute to this advocacy.
Ecosia, for example, is a search engine that donates 80% of its profits to nonprofit organizations which help reforestation. How can a user help? Simple, this website can be used as an alternative for Google. With every 45 searches (on average), a tree is being planted wherever they are needed and makes the biggest impact. Ecosia just exceeded 130 million trees planted recently.
Climate change is a problem faced by all of humanity. Not everyone can invent or start a solution that can make a great impact in dealing with this global problem, but everyone can contribute to solving it. A person can do this by being mindful of what they consume and how they consume it and through supporting existing campaigns that target the causes of climate change.
You don’t have to be a big person to effect a change. A simple gesture can go a long way if it is done continuously and shared religiously with others.
- The Impact of Sustainable Coding in Combating Climate Change - July 26, 2021