Watching Netflix Is Better For The Environment Than Breathing Air, Says Netflix

by 4 years ago


Next time you feel guilty for binge watching Netflix, or anyone gives you flack for spending hours streaming Netflix video, just inform that person of this one simple fact: streaming Netflix is more ‘green’ and better for the environment than breathing oxygen. In a blog post yesterday titled ‘Netflix Streaming – More Energy Efficient than Breathing‘ the video streaming service compared the average carbon footprint (per hour) of a subscriber streaming video versus the carbon footprint of a human being breathing oxygen, and found that Netflix is actually better for the environment than humans breathing air.

In this particular instance I feel no need to fact check Netflix. I’m going to believe them, and henceforth tell the world that Netflix is better for the environment than breathing (according to Netflix). Here are a few excerpts from the Netflix blog post, to read the whole thing you can follow the link and click on over:

In 2014, Netflix infrastructure generated only 0.5g of CO2e emissions for each hour of streaming. The average human breathing emits about 40g/hour, nearly 100x as much. Sitting still while watching Netflix probably saves more CO2 than Netflix burns.
The amount of carbon equivalent emitted in order to produce a single quarter-pound hamburger can power Netflix infrastructure to enable viewing by 10 member families for an entire year!
A viewer who turned off their TV to read books would consume about 24 books a year in equivalent time, for a carbon footprint around 65kg CO2e – over 200 times more than Netflix streaming servers, while the 100W reading light they might we use would match the consumption of the TV they could have watched instead!

Netflix streaming consumes energy in two main ways:
The majority of our technology is operated in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform. AWS offers us unprecedented global scale, hosting tens of thousands of virtual instances and many petabytes of data across several cloud regions.
The audio-video media itself is delivered from “Open Connect” content servers, which are forward positioned close to, or inside of, ISP networks for efficient delivery.
In addition, energy is consumed by:
The ISP networks, which carry the data across “the last mile” from our content servers to our customers.
The “consumer premises equipment” (CPE) that includes cable or DSL modems, routers, WiFi access points, set-top boxes, and TVs, laptops, tablets, and phones.
First and foremost, we have focused on efficiency — making sure that the technology we have built and use is as efficient as possible, which helps with all four components: those for which Netflix is responsible, and those associated with ISP operations and consumer choices. Then we have focused on procuring renewables or offsets for the power that our own systems consume.

You heard it here, bros: turning off your TV and reading would create a carbon footprint of over 200 TIMES MORE than if you were to just binge watch Netflix to your heart’s content. Why should anyone read books when you can just stream the movies on Netflix?

My advice? Go forth into the world and burn your books. Then fire up that computer and stream all of Season 1 of ‘Daredevil‘, which just became the highest rated Netflix original show. Or check out the ‘Netflix Additions And Purges For The Month Of June 2015‘ to know what’s coming and going next month.