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Why you shouldn't stream in high-definition

Streaming services
(Image credit: Unsplash)

A report by the UK Royal Society has outlined why switching to standard definition will help out the environment. 

Scientists found that HD streaming generates eight times more emissions than SD, so you really are "paying" more for that higher quality. 

While most of us are now used to HD because it's a default setting, South Africans understand that SD isn't all too bad. 

With out wobbly internet connections, moving the little option down to 720p or even 480p isn't a bit deal and we know that it only makes a small difference. 

Standard definition sits at 480p and the researchers found that it would be incredibly helpful if platforms would limit streaming resolution to SD. 

It is estimated that digital technology’s estimated contribution to global emissions ranges from 1.4% to 5.9% of the global total, according to the report. 

This simple action could help save up to 5% of emissions a year from streaming services. 

Researchers do acknowledge that digital emissions are small but since the fight against global climate change is massive, every bit helps. 

Other ways you can help save the planet with your tech 

  • Keep your phone for longer, creating new phones uses significant energy and resources
  • Put more of your work on the cloud, it uses significantly less energy than your laptop
  • Optimise your power settings to go to idle when not in use faster 
  • Block video autoplay, though you probably do this already because it's annoying
  • Unplug instead of doom scrolling, it's healthier for you and for the environment
Leila Stein

Leila Stein is an experienced multimedia journalist and content producer with a special interest in data journalism. she is skilled in news writing, editing, online writing and multimedia content production and have a Bachelor of Journalism  from Rhodes University and an Honours in Historical Studies from University of Cape Town.