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Digital Sufficiency

The increasing use of digital media can cause harm to the environment. The interdisciplinary project team aims to reduce the ecological burden by encouraging young people to use media in a way that is lighter on resources.

Background and aim

Impact on the environment

Young people in Switzerland have grown up with digital media. Their use of digital media is self-understood and habitual in almost all situations, which is why they can be called ‘digital natives’. They use their smartphones to cultivate social contacts, to consume, produce and exchange photos and videos, to stream music, and play games. Energy research shows that the rapid increase in the use of digital information and communication technologies can lead to considerably increased use of resources and energy.

Promoting behaviour on the part of young people

The research project Digital Sufficiency aims to help reduce the total ecological burden connected with the use of digital media by the target group, digital natives. In a first step a life cycle assessment (ecological balance sheet) of digital usage patterns will be conducted. Based on that, the interdisciplinary project team at the ZHAW, in collaboration with the climate protection organization myblueplanet, will develop a communication measure to sensitize digital natives to digital media use that is lighter on resources. The research project has been made possible by Mercator Foundation Switzerland.


Project leader