Reduce the amount of data and distance it must travel across the network
A network is a series of switches, routers, and servers. All the computers and network equipment in a network consume electricity and have embedded carbon. The internet is a global network of devices typically run off the standard local grid energy mix or powered by renewables.
When you send data across the internet, you are sending that data through many devices in the network, each one of those devices consuming electricity. As a result, any data you send or receive over the internet emits carbon.
The amount of carbon emitted to send data depends on many factors including:
Distance the data travels
The number of hops between network devices
The energy efficiency of the network devices
The carbon intensity of energy in the region of each device at the time the data is transmitted.
The network protocol used to coordinate data transmission - e.g. multiplex, header compression, TLS/Quic