Making the Internet Greener - The Power of Link Previews

Making the Internet Greener - The Power of Link Previews

The small UX change can foster a greener internet by reducing the CO2 emissions from hyperlink visits.

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In an age of growing environmental consciousness, even the tiniest actions can have a lasting impact. Our online activities might seem intangible, but they carry a carbon footprint. As we navigate through the digital landscape, every click, every page load, and every transaction consumes energy. Enter, a tool that’s not only enhancing user experience but also leading the charge in making the internet a greener place. Here's how:

The Energy Consumption of a Simple Click

Let's illustrate the issue with a startling fact: each time someone visits this web page, an approximate of 0.96g of CO2 is produced, according to data provided by Website Carbon.

  1. Network Transmission: Your request travels through routers, switches, and other network equipment, each using electricity.
  2. Data Center Activity: The server hosting the website processes the request. This involves CPU activity, storage read/write actions, and more, all of which consume energy.
  3. Local Processing: Back at your end, your computer, tablet, or smartphone uses power to render and display the web page.

Link Previews to the Rescue's link preview functionality acts as a digital peephole, allowing users to peek into the content behind a link without fully committing to a site visit. Here's how this simple action can have a massive green impact:

  1. Reduced Network Traffic: By offering a snapshot of the linked content, users can decide if they want to delve deeper or skip the content altogether. This drastically reduces the number of unnecessary requests flowing through the network.
  2. Decreased Server Loads: Fewer clicks to external links mean fewer requests for servers to handle. Over time, and on a large scale, this can translate to significant energy savings.
  3. Local Energy Savings: If a user decides not to visit a link based on the preview, their device saves energy that would otherwise be used to load and render the page.

Wider Implications

If a significant portion of the online population started using link previews:

  • Data Centers: Would experience less strain, and the reduced energy demands could potentially lead to significant reductions in carbon emissions.
  • Internet Infrastructure: Less network traffic means fewer upgrades needed, leading to a decrease in the production of network equipment.
  • User Devices: On an individual level, the energy saved might seem minimal. But when multiplied by billions of users, the collective energy savings are monumental.


The path to a sustainable future requires innovations at every level, from monumental shifts in infrastructure to small tweaks in user behavior.'s link preview functionality is an good example of how seemingly minor tech innovations can collectively drive a greener internet. By cutting down on hyperlink visits, we're not only enhancing our digital experience but also taking a step forward in our quest for a sustainable digital future.