Text only web browsing


I would like to minimize my carbon print(especially radiation) on the world. As I result I don’t use my cell phone, don’t use a remote control etc. However, I recently confirmed my fear that despite the fact that I’m using a wired internet connection, the internet globally is connected through satellite.

So I try to minimize my internet usage. The best way to decrease the bandwidth would be to use ‘text only surfing’. This is because it is those graphics and videos which probably use 90% of a person’s bandwidth. So what is the best alternative? I’ve been using Firefox since the past 6 years and find it comfortable although Chrome is something I can adapt too easily.

So which of these 2 browsers has a good ‘text only surfing’ functionality or extension? I hope this function not ruins the formatting of the websites. And I hope I don’t have to enable/disable several options for the same. All I want is a function ‘text only surfing’ which removes all the graphical content but leaves the website as it is for the rest of the part. I just want to be able to be click a button which resumes the ‘normal look’ and then just click a button which goes back to ‘text only surfing’.

Which browser is the best for me? Are there any other web browsers which are just text-only and look similar to firefox/IE/Chrome/Opera etc.? Like I don’t want a browser which seems like DOS based…

Anyways, how to get this done? Thanks!

To be honest, I really don’t think you are going to save the world from a climatic apocalypse by turning off images in your browser. But you certainly will save on bandwidth by turning off images. That’s easy in most browsers, though you can’t expect the page layout to be the same in that scenario. A well designed website will look just fine with images and CSS off, but a lot of sites aren’t well designed, of course.

In Firefox, if you have the web developer toolbar installed, go to Tools, Web developer > images > disable images. I do that a lot when I’m testing a site. You can also turn off Flash, CSS, JavaScript etc.

For a true text-only web experience, try out the text-only Lynx browser.

Well, I think if every person on earth took at least as much care as I do, the world would be a much better place… a lot eco friendly than it is at the moment. :slight_smile:

Isn’t the option which you mentioned same as Tools->Options->Content->Disabling ‘Load Images automatically’?

Also, how do I disable Flash using the web developer??

I guess so, though I don’t think it’s not so much an issue of how much energy one uses, but where that energy comes from. There’s a hell of a lot of energy produced by the sun that we could be harnessing if we had the will. :slight_smile:

Isn’t the option which you mentioned same as Tools->Options->Content->Disabling ‘Load Images automatically’?

I expect so. I’m on a Mac, which has a different path for that option, but it should do the same thing.

Actually, I do that by going to Tools > add-ons > Plugins. There you can click to disable Flash.


Adblock Plus is also useful for disabling some unwanted adverts and scripts and items on pages that do consume bandwidth and energy. Like Ralph said Web Developer is pretty useful for easily disabling JS and images at a flick of a switch rather than having to go to the main browser settings. Disabling client-side scripts will usually save quite a lot of processing cycles.

You could create a user-CSS file which defines a black background with white text (instead of black on white). Apparently that saves energy too.

Well, someday when it’s cost effective (government no longer has to subsidize it and it can stand on it’s own), and actually works good (smaller devices soaking up more energy)…maybe we will. (:

Tired of people using solar energy and claiming to be eco-friendly. Unless you’re doing things like taking a bucket of water and heating it in the sun directly and then using it for bathing, using solar energy is neither natural nor eco-friendly. The only real advantage is that you’re using up renewable source of energy… but then the non-renewable energy will then be used to do more unnatural things. The fact that solar devices are so costly conclude that it uses so many modern innovations and equipment that is anything but natural.

Using solar energy to power an AC or a heater is not natural. Living without an AC or a heater is natural.