Not many people today are aware that data pollutes, and if you add a 2-megabyte image to the internet it will pollute much more than a 200 kilobytes image. With 5.000 unique visitors, the 2-megabyte image would result in approx. 9.700-10.000 megabytes of data and the 200 kilobytes image would result in 976-1.000 megabytes. That's a significant difference and it will be even bigger when you think that there in 2022 are more than 1.8 billion websites on the internet.
Knowing these numbers puts things into perspective; we can make a significant change and make the internet much more sustainable by changing a few things. 52% of the internet is run by CMS systems, so simply by automatically compressing images uploaded to these CMS systems we can make the internet much greener. Imagine if we can cut off 60-80% of the file sizes uploaded to these CMS systems without anyone noticing a difference. A large portion of websites today are run by people with little to no experience in sustainable web design. One way you can make the internet more sustainable is by teaching every single one of them how to use sustainable practices. Another is to change the tools they use.
How would it work?
When a user on a CMS system such as WordPress is uploading an image, then normally the image will be saved to the file system and it will be ready to use.
Instead of simply adding the file to the file system, it can first be taken through a compressor. This could for example be the tinypng or tinyjpg compressor since it is known to do a fantastic job of cutting away at the file size without it being noticed.
Once the file has been compressed and converted into a more modern format such as WEBP or AVIF, then it can be saved to the file system where it will be ready to use. The result will be a much smaller image that is optimized for use on the internet.