• Maria Li

Introducing the "Regenerative Internet" Project


Digital is physical. Digital is not green. Digital costs the Earth. Every time I download an email I contribute to global warming.

- Gerry McGovern, 2020



Hi, I'm Maria Li. Probably like every one of you, I live in the information age, in which the internet and smartphones form part of our lives. We can find these technologies in our weather forecast, shopping, transportation, work, healthcare, and even intimate relationship. They are ubiquitous, "in the cloud" and clean. It's really hard to imagine living without them.


Yet... Is our internet real green?


While we are sending an email or a text message, Have you ever thought of

"How does our internet is powered?"

"How does the internet really works and connected? Is 'our data in the cloud' truly come out of midair?"

"How much carbon is emitted by sending one email?"

"Which digital activity incurs a higher carbon footprint? Sending a text message or an email?"

"How much are my daily and annual digital carbon footprint?"


I really want to find out the answers.


Because of this, I'm trying to start an investigation and conduct a series of experiments to make our internet regenerative. Some possible experimentations are:

  1. Design a tool to track my digital carbon footprint

  2. Design a tool to help others visualise their digital carbon footprints

  3. Make a microalgae solar cell to power up a micro data centre by photosynthesis



REGENERATIVE INTERNET is an investigative, collective and experimental initiative. It aims to engage people to become more mindful of the impacts of the internet on climate change and explore ways to build a regenerative internet.



The outcome of the project will be a working open-access playbook with creations from the experiments. The process of the investigation findings and experimental creations will be documented through videos, and through a book that will be hosted in a server powered by photosynthesis (if the microalgae solar cell works well).



I invite all of you to join me in this investigation. If you are interested to take part in the investigation, feel free to contact me to see how we can collaborate!

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