Most people don’t know, but the Internet is a major contributor to Global Warming. How so? The Internet is really just a bunch of interconnected computers, and those computers need energy, a lot of energy. Sadly, most of the energy used to power all those computers comes from the burning of coal and other fossil fuels. In fact according the GreenPeace.org, the Internet produces the same amount of CO2 as the world wide airline industry.
The Internet is growing fast, and so is it’s carbon footprint. However, there is a solution, and it’s called “Green Web Hosting”.
Green web hosting is a term that is used by web hosting companies seeking to show that they are helping the environment. The term can be separated into 3 main concepts:
1. Reducing the environmental footprint of the electronic hardware and computers that make the Internet possible
2. Buying “carbon offset tickets” to offset the “dirty” coal based energy that a data center consumes: These carbon offsets can be bought from wind, solar, or hydro electric power stations
3. Powering the hosting company’s data center directly with renewable energy
These techniques are used in varying degrees by different web hosting companies to reduce their environmental impact.
Web hosting companies that buy carbon offsets actually use coal and gas-based electricity to power their data centers. Then they purchase “offset tickets” with a “third-party” energy company, such as a wind farm, to “offset” the CO2 that was produced.
On the other hand, web hosting companies that power their data center directly with renewable energy have the added benefit that they actually reduce the overall amount of coal and gas that needs to be burned to produce energy to power the Internet. This mean that the overall amount of CO2 produced goes down. An example of a company that does this is MyGreenHosting.com, which powers it’s data centre directly with geothermal energy
There are a lot of “green hosting” choices out there, so what is a business that is seeking the greenest web hosting to do? The answer is: do your research! Find the greenest web hosting that offers the best price with 24/7 support. Make sure they have a good track record and examine their marketing material to see exactly what makes them claim that they are “green”.