The mission to reduce carbon emissions is certainly not a new notion, but in wake of record high carbon dioxide levels and relentless wildfires, the pursuit of achieving this goal has certainly intensified.
Whilst many human activities such as manufacturing, power generation and transportation are widely recognised to contribute to our carbon footprint, there are a multitude of day to day activities that also contribute that a great deal are not aware of. One of which activities is the use of social media.
In order to raise awareness of social media’s contribution to our carbon footprint, we at BanklessTimes.com set out to uncover the Co2 emissions emitted from the most popular social media platforms.
TikTok unveiled as the most pollutive social media platform
Our research unveiled TikTok to be the most pollutive platform, with each user emitting 30.72KG of Co2 per year and a lifetime on the platform equating to the same amount of Co2 as driving all the way from London to Tokyo. This finding was of particular concern due to TikTok’s impressive growth in recent years, which could even see the platform overtake Facebook as the most used social media.
We decided to delve further into our research to identify which generation is most responsible for the amount of Co2 emitted from social media platforms.
Gen Z are most responsible for Co2 emitted from TikTok
In recent years, Gen Z has taken an immense likening to the video sharing platform, with users in this age range spending on average 75 minutes each day on TikTok. This makes Gen Z the most frequent users of TikTok and thus the most responsible for the amount of Co2 emitted. In fact, out of the 158g of Co2 emitted by TikTok per minute, Gen Z are responsible for more than a third.
Millennials are most responsible for Instagram and Facebook’s Co2 emissions
Upon taking a look at fellow popular platforms Instagram and Facebook, Millennials are the most frequent users of the two and in turn are largely responsible for the amount of Co2 emitted. Users aged 20-29 and 30-39 on Instagram emit a combined 33g of Co2 per minute – more than half of the total Co2 emitted per minute. Likewise, users aged 20-29 and 30-39 on Facebook emit 29g of Co2 per minute out of the total 47g of Co2 emitted per minute.
Despite Millennials more frequent use of social media, Gen Z’s time spent on TikTok is more harmful
In terms of time spent on social media, millennials are the most frequent users, spending on average 167-169 minutes per day on Instagram. In comparison Gen Z spends less than half of this time on TikTok, at just 75 minutes per day. However due to the amount of Co2 emitted each minute by TikTok being more than twice that of Instagram and three times that of Facebook, Gen Z’s time spent on social media is more harmful to the environment.
This highlights just how damaging TikTok is for the environment in comparison to other platforms. It also underlines a clear need for TikTok as a company to implement changes and demonstrate that they are taking steps to achieve a more environmentally friendly approach – as after all they have garnered the attention of the younger generations which poses them as the future of social media.