MAR 10, 2017 08:22 AM PST

How much energy do your YouTube binge sessions use?


Go ahead and watch the video. By the end of watching the merely two and a half minute YouTube video, you will have used the equivalent of energy for two Double AA batteries. How does watching something so short use up so much energy? Find out here.

Some of the energy required to watch the video comes from your device itself - whatever screen you're using to view this post - to get physical about it, the actual photons being emitted from the machine in front of you. Laptops consume the equivalent energy of about one Double AA every five minutes. Mobile phones and tablets are a bit more efficient, using one Double AA every half hour. But that energy is only a part of what's required behind your video viewing. The rest is the energy that is used to actually deliver the video to your screen from where the code is stored somewhere on a distant server.

When you click that play button, the zeros and ones that make up the code to process the video must pass through long haul and local networks to reach your router. It is difficult to measure how much energy this delivery process requires, but IT experts estimate that one Double AA battery's worth of energy gives you about 10 MB of data. For a (almost) three minute video like this one, you need about 30 MB of data - or three Double AA batteries of energy.

And that's PER VIEW. Tallying up the 500,000 plus views that this particular video has, the video has consumed 105.9 household-days of electricity!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
SEP 23, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 23, 2018
The Benefits of Vertical Farming
In some parts of the world where agriculture becomes a problematic endeavor, vertical farming offers a potential solution. Newark, New Jersey is a great ex...
SEP 25, 2018
Videos
SEP 25, 2018
Heal Faster
Active patient vs passive patient...
SEP 26, 2018
Videos
SEP 26, 2018
Why do leaves change color in the fall?
We know that deciduous trees drop their leaves every winter in order to avoid wasting precious resources on keeping them alive during the long, hard, cold ...
SEP 29, 2018
Videos
SEP 29, 2018
CRISPR Technology may Have Serious Drawbacks
The CRISPR gene-editing system has been touted as a miraculous tool, but it has its problems....
OCT 06, 2018
Videos
OCT 06, 2018
Explore a Human Cell with an Interactive Website
The Allen Institute is aiming to enhance our understanding of how human cells function....
OCT 11, 2018
Videos
OCT 11, 2018
How Iceland is growing forests for the first time in a millennium
Iceland is perhaps one of the worst cases of deforestation that the world has seen. Over the last 1,000 years, the country's forests have been felled f...
Loading Comments...