Your favorite playlist has a carbon footprint

May 24, 2019 by  
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You would think streaming music is more eco-friendly than CDs, tapes and records, right? Afterall, there’s no waste. A new study by the Universities of Glasglow and Oslo calculated the carbon footprint associated with downloading and streaming music and the answer is surprising. According to data from 2015 and 2016, music streaming accounted for 200 to 350 million kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions . The study used data records from the Recording Industry Association of America. First, researchers took the total number of streamed and downloaded songs and multiplied it by the amount of electricity it takes to download 1 gigabyte of data. Each gigabyte is equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to light one light bulb for an hour. Next researchers investigated what kind of fuel sources are typically fueling music streaming sites— such as coal or renewable energy — and averaged the carbon dioxide emitted. Related: Music festivals and events can set the stage for sustainability The totals do not reflect the carbon footprint of data storage and processing centers, nor the electricity it takes to power your cellphone or steaming device, so the comprehensive contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is actually much higher than the study initially indicates. Music streaming giant, Spotify, did not respond to The Rolling Stone journalist’s request for comment, but they did publish a sustainability report in 2017, which promised to work toward carbon neutrality. By 2018, the new sustainability report indicated that they had closed almost all of their data centers and reduced their carbon footprint by 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide . In actuality, Spotify shifted to using Google Cloud services, which means that now Google data centers are responsible for the emissions, not that emissions have necessarily been cut. Streaming competitors Apple and Amazon have recently invested in renewable energy options for their centers. Data centers in general are responsible for 2 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to the airline industry. Music lovers who want to be more sustainable should buy full albums rather than streaming individual songs, especially if you plan to hit that repeat button a lot. According to their calculations, streaming 27 songs uses more energy than manufacturing the disc. For those of you who can’t imagine hopping in a time machine and buying a CD again, the authors suggest that downloading songs for offline listening could reduce the associated energy consumption. Via Rolling Stone Image via PhotoMIX-Company

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Your favorite playlist has a carbon footprint

Janet Napolitano on higher education as sustainability hub

October 30, 2017 by  
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The best of live interviews from GreenBiz events. In this episode: the universities play in helping communities become more sustainable and resilient.

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Janet Napolitano on higher education as sustainability hub

100 seeds for a sustainable future: Part 8

May 25, 2017 by  
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Students discuss the business of crisis management, innovate clean water solutions and find the link between tax fraud and poverty.

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100 seeds for a sustainable future: Part 8

How automation could simplify emissions reductions

May 25, 2017 by  
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Technology that seamlessly shifts timing of consumption into the cleanest possible intervals may be closer than you realize.

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How automation could simplify emissions reductions

It’s time to reconsider carbon capture

May 25, 2017 by  
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The urgency of reducing carbon emissions increases with every passing month. If the world is to achieve its climate goals, every viable avenue for carbon emission reductions must be deployed. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one avenue that is proven, versatile, affordable and essential. 

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It’s time to reconsider carbon capture

100 seeds for a sustainable future: Launching entrepreneurship

March 6, 2017 by  
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In week four of 10-part series, a Chinese campus goes for LEED gold; insurers account for climate change.

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100 seeds for a sustainable future: Launching entrepreneurship

More ways colleges are sowing seeds for a sustainable future

February 22, 2017 by  
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In week two of a 10-week series, schools create sustainable housing and celebrate social impact with a weeklong festival.

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More ways colleges are sowing seeds for a sustainable future

From scholarship to climate action at PSU

February 4, 2017 by  
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Portland State University’s learning journey from a veteran education center to a national champion of sustainable scholarship.

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From scholarship to climate action at PSU

3 ways college students are revolutionizing sustainability

December 6, 2016 by  
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From local bicycle shares to global divestment movements, universities lead the way to a more sustainable future for all.

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3 ways college students are revolutionizing sustainability

On leading change and learning how it is done

November 20, 2015 by  
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Drawing inspiration from the late Wisconsin U.S. Senator and Governor Gaylord Nelson to lead change.

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On leading change and learning how it is done

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