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PJWD turned seven years old earlier this month and as tends to happen it’s got me in a reflective mood. The world has changed a lot over that time, and so have I.

For example, these days my priority is no longer to simply design websites to ‘look good’. There is a much bigger picture to consider so I now focus on three main things. That is to:

  • make it as environmentally-friendly as possible,
  • prioritise digital privacy, and
  • stamp out any addictive or manipulative design.

My attempts to be more eco-friendly in my digital life have given me an unexpected opportunity to walk down memory lane recently as I started clearing out all my old online files.

It’s amazing what you can learn about yourself when you read old emails and blog posts written such a long time ago. More about this in the blog below.

Also this month, I’m sharing my top tips for reducing your own digital carbon footprint, being more private online, as well as my top picks of other cool stuff happening elsewhere on the internet.

As always, thank you for reading. If you have any questions, feedback or blog requests, please feel free to drop me an email.

Reducing your digital carbon footprint

Being an environmentally-conscious individual is becoming increasingly mainstream. Many consumers look at things like packaging and provenance before they buy, and try to reuse and recycle more. Businesses are also looking at being more sustainable in their operations, for example considering their energy suppliers and addressing supply chain issues.

But one thing that is not yet mainstream is an awareness of how our digital activities impact on our carbon footprint.

In this post, I share some thoughts and tips on being digitally greener, for example unsubscribing from newsletters, deleting old emails and online accounts, and switching to green website hosting.

Read Reducing Your Digital Carbon Footprint.

The weird nostalgic romance of deleting old emails

Trips down memory lane can get pretty weird. I unexpectedly set off down the path of nostalgia a few weeks ago when I decided to declutter my digital history in a bid to be more eco-friendly (as old saved emails and discarded blogs all use server energy to be maintained).

And what a trip. From hilariously cringeworthy blog posts to MySpace notifications and ticket confirmations for things I’d forgotten I’d done, it was quite the ride deleting all these old emails.

I’ve written more about it in this blog post, and also shared some thoughts about how you can manage your inbox and ensure it doesn’t get out of control with emails you’ll never look at again.

Read Adventures in Deleting Old Emails

Bo’s tips for being more private online

Paul Jardine Web Design is seven business years old this month. Any entrepreneur will tell you that’s about the same as 70 human years (a bit grey, still nimble, very wise), and the same as 49 dog years.

In that sort of timeframe, most business owners and dogs will acquire a lot of knowledge about how to do what’s best for them.

For example, at this ripe age we know who to trust and who not. Someone we don’t trust is the big tech companies that pretend to care about our wellbeing. So when it comes to digital privacy, we take matters in our own paws. Here’s how.

  • Switch from using Chrome for a privacy-focussed web browser like Brave or Firefox.
  • Swap out Google Search for DuckDuckGo or Ecosia.
  • Lock down your Google account settings: here you can clear your history, pause your tracking history and turn on auto-delete.
  • Log into websites using your email address rather than a Facebook or Google account.

With love from me (secretly!),

Bo, Stockport’s finest web design hound

Elsewhere on the internet

  • Top web coding trainers SuperHi have announced an LGBTQIA+ Pride Month scholarship in support of individuals who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and you can be anywhere in the world to apply.
  • ShareThyme is a free, UK-based platform that pairs over-65s with younger adults for cooking sessions to help combat loneliness.
  • Slow Ways is an online project to create a network of walking routes that connect all of Great Britain’s towns and cities.

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