The world is full of people who care about the environment and who are willing to do everything that they can to help the environment. Recycling, reducing energy consumption, changing purchasing habits, driving less; the list goes on and on. Many people even purchase computers that are energy efficient and when their computer is no longer usable, they send it off the electronics recycling depot.
If you find yourself in that group of people who are eager to help the environment, there’s one element that you may not have ever thought about. What about the websites that you visit on a regular basis? Maybe you spend a few minutes reading the daily news online, or watch a few funny cat videos that everyone loves.
Most website that you visit on a daily basis are hosted in data centers that are full of computer servers. These large facilities consume enormous amounts of power in order to run the thousands of servers that are located on-site. The servers generate heat, but in order to run properly, the rooms are then cooled using air conditioning systems that also consume a lot of energy. The sheer size of the buildings and the number of servers that they house make them quite inefficient in many cases.
There is a better way!
Green web hosting is a relatively new type of hosting that has evolved in the past few years, out of a realization that standard web hosting was not very efficient. There are several ways that a web host can reduce the amount of energy that they consume, including the following techniques.
- Purchase energy efficient servers.
- Plant trees around their data centers to help with cooling.
- Purchase servers that can run at hotter temperatures, reducing the amount of cooling needed.
- Use solar energy to power the servers or parts of their buildings.
- Purchase carbon credits to offset their energy consumption.
- Encourage participation by their employees in energy saving programs.
- Reducing paper waste where possible.
- Allow employees to work from home, reducing office space needs and commuting.
How Can You Do Your Part?
For the energy conscious webmaster, choosing green website hosting is a necessity, to ensure that not only are you doing your part on a personal level, but you are also helping the environment on a business level. When having your website built, ask your website developer if your hosting is considered green hosting and insist on it. Usually there’s no additional cost to host with a green web hosting company, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
Also, consider checking into the practices of some of the larger company websites that you interact with on a daily basis to see what their practices are. You may be surprised that many companies that tout their green practices and their efforts to save the environment have overlooked this very important piece.
Is green web hosting a consideration for you when using a website or for having your own personal website developed?
Written by: Kole McRae, for Green My Tires