Unless you've been sleeping under a rock for the last few weeks, you'll have seen David Attenborough's shocking film about the escalating threat that global warming is to the planet.
One of the reasons are our devices, which means the way we use the Internet has a big part to play in reducing our environmental footprint. There is a bit of a myth that using screens is better than paper. Producing devices uses a lot of energy and resources but powering those devices, the servers that host Internet content and the equipment in between consumes an enormous amount of energy and is an ongoing overhead to the planet.
By far the most energy consuming activities day to day users carry out on their devices is watching video content and next is streaming audio. That is entertaining, convenient, useful and comes with a whole range of benefits, so I wouldn't advocate closing down YouTube and Spotify.
Next will be images and here there is really something as website designers, content creators and marketers that we can do to go some way toward reducing those overheads.
I'm talking about stock photography.
All the evidence suggests that images and particularly human faces drive engagement with content. But evidence also shows that the quality of those images does impact their effectiveness.
There is definitely a case for some stock photography enhancing comprehension of some content, I'm sure a lot of it will have a neutral effect and I think that badly thought out use of stock photography can even be detrimental to brand experience and engagement.
This is not necessarily about high volume websites, although if we are running those a small change will have a big impact. Cumulatively websites with low traffic are serving millions of stock photos every day and many of these are low quality or redundant.
Optimisation plays a part too. As well as using optimisation software to reduce file size, many websites will use some automatic cropping that means huge files are uploaded and stored that are never actually served to users. So let's optimise the images that we do use - that would benefit user experience as well as energy consumption. We need to look at ways that we can reduce energy usage with plenty of tough challenges, but cutting out 'for the sake of it' stock photography is surely an easy win.