Isaac Norris

Brafton’s Monthly Newsletter from the Social Team

Did you know that April is Earth Month?
In this month’s newsletter, we’re taking a look at the intersection of social media, sustainability, and the environment.

social newsletter april earth day

In this month’s edition, you’ll find:

  • Surprising facts on the carbon footprint of social media…
  • A spotlight on a few great earth month campaigns…
  • And a helpful tool to find your online carbon footprint!


You’ve probably sent an email, flipped through TikTok, posted to your Instagram Story, or even *gasp* attended a meeting over Zoom or Google Meet by the time you’re ready this newsletter. If you’re anything like me, you’ve done all of those and more, all without considering the environmental impact of your online life. 

According to The Shift Project, a Paris-based climate think-tank, the carbon footprint of our digital selves accounted for almost 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions in 2019, and digital energy consumption is increasing at a rate of 4% per year. 

Of course, simply using social media itself doesn’t necessarily contribute to global emissions — it’s the electricity required to power our devices. According to a 2022 report from The International Energy Agency, data centers (excluding crypto) accounted for 220 to 320 terawatt hours of electricity use — a 60% increase from 2015. 


Did you know scrolling on Instagram for 1 minute emits 1.5g of CO2? That may not seem like much, but take into account how often you use the app — then think about how many other people (2.35 billion) are using the app at any given time. It really starts to pile up!

Here’s another surprising fact: an estimated 50 million tons of electronic waste is discarded in landfills each year, where lead and other toxic chemicals pollute the soil and contaminate water.


We’re taking some time to spotlight a few great social media campaigns from a few different brands that highlight the impact of our digital carbon footprint.

First up, @allbirds’ #keeptheamazonprime from April of 2022. In this post, the brand highlights the impact of same-day delivery while shining a light on the importance of the actual Amazon rainforest and the Environmental Conservation Organization @amazonwatch. Watch the campaign below. ⬇️ 

Second, YouTube teamed up with 15 content creators and several organizations to explore unique locations from around the globe to showcase how rare and unique each of them are in an effort to raise awareness on conservation and sustainability. Watch the video. ⬇️ 

And third, Wrangler Jean inserted itself into the conscious fashion conversation with its ‘Earth Day Jean.’ in 2022.

With inspiration coming from a 1970s custom illustration, the pants are made from organic cotton and eco-friendly finishes, which the fashion brand stated will “last both in style and in wear.”


Using this tool from ecotree, you can discover your own digital carbon footprint. Based on my information, I could light the Eiffel Tower for almost 3 hours — oof! 


Catch up on the these Brafton articles:


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