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How Your Netflix Binges Are Negatively Impacting The Environment

Niamh Shackleton


How Your Netflix Binges Are Negatively Impacting The EnvironmentNetflix/Sony

While you might be watching episodes of Blue Planet back-to-back, bingeing long TV series is contributing to global warming, new research has shown.

A new analysis has looked into which TV shows emit the highest amount of CO2, and some series create thousands of grams of the greenhouse gas if you were to watch it from start to finish.


Computer Disposals Limited (CDL) conducted the research and initially looked at all 6,500+ titles on Netflix, before ranking them in order of their IMDb user ratings.

Netflix title screen (Pixabay)Pixabay

Following this, the company then compiled a list of the top 200 shows and analysed how long it would take a person to watch it. From these figures, CDL estimated how much carbon dioxide was emitted in the process of watching the show all the way through.

On average, one hour of television produces about 36g of CO2, meaning the longer the TV show takes to complete, the more carbon it emits.


Topping the list for carbon emissions was The Vampire Diaries, which was worked out to take a staggering 171 hours to complete. As a result, the show creates 6,156g of CO2 to watch.

Vampire Diaries (CBS)CBS Television

Second in line was 00s classic, Gilmore Girls, which emits 5,580g to watch from start to finish, running for 155 hours.

In third place was The Big Bang Theory, taking 139.5 hours to watch, and therefore emitting 5,022g of CO2.


Fourth worst for carbon emissions was Modern family, followed by Friends; Shameless US; Sons of Anarchy; How I Met Your Mother; American Horror Story and, in tenth place came Orange is the New Black.

Genre-wise, TV dramas were the highest carbon emitters, with US TV shows and TV comedies coming in second and third, retrospectively.

American horror Story (FX)FX

So, how can we reduce our television-watching carbon footprint? The simple answer is to ease off on the time you spend streaming and limit yourself to a certain amount of episodes per evening.


TV shows in lower definitions emit fewer emissions too, so if you’re wanting to make less impact on climate change, you can watch it in SD over HD.

Another tip CDL gives is to avoid watching TV via ADSL (which basically means accessing the content using the internet through your laptop or tablet), as this consumes more energy.

Steaming on iPad (Pexels)Pexels

Lastly, turn your internet off when you go to bed. Keeping it running through the night uses up energy when you’re not even using it.


Meanwhile, if you’re wanting a carbon-emission friendly show to watch tonight, give Our Planet a go (if you haven’t already). The David Attenborough series only emits 442.4g of CO2, all while educating yourself on climate change. Win, win!

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected].

Topics: Film and TV, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Life, Netflix


Computer Disposals Limited
  1. Computer Disposals Limited

    The Environmental Impact of Binging Your Favourite TV Shows – Revealed

Niamh Shackleton
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