Finding a great Internet deal isn’t the only way the Internet helps us save money. The Internet has a lot of other functions that make our lives more convenient, and the move toward energy efficiency has given customers more opportunities to save. We’ve been able to streamline our chores, do our shopping, and pay our bills online, all while reducing energy consumption and individual fossil-fuel emissions.
The ways the Internet saves money and reduces waste for everyday people aren’t complicated. In fact, just being connected to the Internet can impact the environment as well as your wallet in favorable ways.
When we call technologies “green,” we mean they reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental pollutants. With the environmental impact of data centers and the carbon emissions of everyday use, some people might wonder, Is the Internet eco-friendly? Green Internet refers to ways we use the Internet to reduce our own individual carbon footprint.
The bonus of green Internet is that it also saves money. Many of the tasks that would have cost time, energy, and resources, like gas and calories, can be done with just a click of the mouse button. Smart technology adds automation that can do it for us.
How does the Internet make all of this possible?
Almost everyone is doing business online these days. Government forms and job applications are online. Banking is online. We can buy things online, watch shows and movies online, and fill prescriptions online. So managing money online is just a natural side effect of Internet commerce.
Many businesses have cut out the paper, opting instead to post bills to your online account. They often offer discounts for paying online rather than in person or by mail. Credit cards, Internet, telephone, television services, and utilities are obvious candidates, but many other bills are also now available for online payment. Property managers are allowing rent to be paid online. Fees like traffic tickets and child support can be paid through online portals, as can local and federal taxes.
Aside from saving you a lot of junk mail and stamps, online payments ensure that your payments are received immediately. They won’t get held up in the mail, running the risk of unexpected late fees. You don’t have to drive out to an office to pay them in person.
Social distancing taught us the value of having our groceries, prescriptions, and other goods delivered. Delivery services, such as Lyft, Uber/Postmates, and DoorDash, opened their services to include trips to Walmart or Target. Grocery services, such as Instacart, also thrived as people quarantined or simply stayed home.
During this time, there were also fewer vehicles on the road, and people found they had more time to spend on the things that mattered, like self-improvement, family, and creativity. Doing your shopping online leaves you more time to dedicate to the people and things you love and less time dealing with crowds and traffic. Why use that hour to go grocery shopping when you can use it to walk in the park or bond with family?
Smart technology and the Internet of Things not only make our daily lives easier and save time, but they can also have a positive impact on your electric bill. They are green technologies because they rely on Internet usage rather than wirelines to function their best, but they also have benefits that can save you money on a few of your bills.
Not all sustainable Internet practices are about renewable energy. When you protect your Internet and WiFi, you are protecting everything about yourself—from your finances to your identity. Protecting yourself from hackers isn’t just about making up a good password. Having good Internet security protects all of your devices, maintaining your green Internet ecosystem. To keep your identity safe, it’s also important to take a few simple steps.
Every time you use your search engine, your browser puts your history into your cache. Each time you visit a website, a tiny token is deposited onto your computer. Clearing your cache and cookies also clears out purchases you’ve made and sites you’ve visited that can give clues to your identity and, therefore, your personal information.
It might be a fun idea to post pictures of yourself and loved ones on social media, but these can give away information about where you live and can be found. For instance, you may want to save posting your vacation shots until you are back home so that you do not broadcast the fact that your house is empty while you are away.
One of the biggest benefits of information being passed as data is that it can be encrypted. Encryption mixes up the data during transfer so it can only be decoded by authorized devices. Everything from phone calls and text messages to your password can be encrypted, which can keep your entire home secure.
The more we use the Internet to keep our world green, the more money we can each save ourselves. Looking forward, 5G is ushering in even more technologies that can add to environmental conservation efforts, enhancing large-scale smart technologies in cities and on highways. At home, going green with smart technology not only helps make everyday life simpler, but it can also save you a lot of money.