There's no free lunch, and there's no doing something without energy consumption. And Zoom calls are no exception.
But how much energy do your weekly Zoom calls consume?
Utility Bidder has put together an online calculator to help you figure out how much greenhouse gases your Zooming is generating.
There are a few variables to take into consideration -- the primary ones being the video quality and how many participants. The higher the quality, and the more people you have, the more power is consumed, and the more carbon dioxide will be released.
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Two people spending an hour on Zoom at HD quality will generate around 0.0037kg of CO2, which is the equivalent of driving 0.01 miles (assuming an averagish car putting out 0.27603kg of CO2 per mile).
Upgrade the video quality to 1080p, and that results in a four-fold increase in energy consumption.
The more people you have in the meeting, the more the energy consumption goes up.
A weekly team meeting with six participants, watching in HD 1080p for one hour, releases 0.05kg of CO2. Over a year, this would add up to 2.68kg, equivalent to driving 9.36 miles.
Note: The calculator is based on bandwidth data supplied by Zoom, and research carried out by David Mytton.
So, Zoom meetings are better than driving to a meeting, but you could still help reduce carbon emissions further by sending an email rather than having a Zoom meeting.