skip to main content

Video Streaming

Did you know that video streaming is growing steadily?

Netflix, Disney+, Videoland, Prime Video, Tencent, YouTube. Streaming series, movies, video clips, classes, courses, cat video’s and more. In 2021, Netflix was the big winner at the Emmy awards. We all have at least one streaming subscription. Every minute, worldwide, we watch over 750.000 hours of Netflix. What effects does the enormous scale and speed of our move from cable television and DVDs to video streaming have on the environment?

CO2 Impact Calculator

Every hour streamed uses on average 2.3 kWh of energy per year. With this basis, and information on the emissions per kWh, we calculate the CO2 impact of every hour watched in the Netherlands but also across Europe and Worldwide. The impact calculator does not show the CO2 impact of your individual behaviour, since we are talking about a massive trend here. Instead, you see what the overall impact is should every subscriber of Netflix video streaming adopt the same behaviour as you do.

The calculator shows how many cities of Amsterdam we need to plant with trees each year to compensate for our streaming behaviour.


Do you want to embrace a greener digital lifestyle? Below we provide some tips. If you select one or multiple, it is stored locally. This is better for both CO2 emissions as it is for your privacy. By selecting a tip, it is added to your own battleplan, where you can always return to in the Take Action section.

  • Lower video streaming quality

    Streaming on medium quality cuts data use by 40% and you probably won’t even notice the difference.

    Add to Take Action list:

  • Always use a fixed internet connection or WiFi and never mobile traffic

    When video streaming, using mobile internet bundles is the worst option there is. Whatever carrier you use, making sure you are connected to a fixed or WiFi connection which uses a lot less energy.

    Add to Take Action list:

  • Go offline

    Download your episodes or films onto your laptop or tablet and play from there when travelling.

    Add to Take Action list:

Did you know DVDs are less polluting than HD streaming?

Watching a HD stream of a film could emit as much CO2 as manufacturing, transporting and playing a DVD. A DVD can be stored, rewatched, lend out, whereas a film on a streaming service produces the same impact each time it is watched. Instead of watching 1 DVD, we watch series for multiple hours per day. What can we learn from the DVD era when using video streams? Off course, when we think we might rewatch a film, episode or documentary, the best thing to do is download it and avoid re-streaming. And although we cannot lend out a downloaded film on Netflix, we can invite those whom we want to see the film over and watch the downloaded version together. It would even be more fun. Stream responsibly, stream once.