|Green Hosting to Help Shrink Your Website’s Carbon Footprint|
|Thursday, 01 March 2012 00:00 | Written by Steve Graham | Blog Entry|
Web hosting is not an inherently environmental practice. Even eco-conscious websites like EcoHearth require big, hot, electric computer servers. Unlike an iPod, you can’t recharge a server with a miniature solar panel. In 2005, computer servers around the world consumed the equivalent of 14 standard power plants—that’s enough energy for about 14 million homes. The figure has surely increased substantially since 2005. But you don’t have to use trainloads of coal to run your website. Several companies offer Web hosting services powered by renewable energy.
He said his users are looking for true sustainability, so the solar panels are paying off in new contracts. “I would say at least 70% of our clients are eco friendly,” Nail observed. “I can certainly tell you they all hate the greenwashing some other hosting companies are doing.”
AISO also has a rainwater collection system for air conditioning and cooling its data center, and it is planting a green roof.
A testimonial on the AISO site argues businesses that use renewable energy to power their websites will show doubters that solar, wind and other alternative energies have a bright future.
“What made me chose AISO is solar power,” wrote a client identified as Franz. “I was working on solar-cell research for several years, and I am convinced that this technology has a future. The best way of convincing other people of its potential is to use it and to show its reliability.”
Canvas Dreams also works to maximize energy performance. It uses efficient, lead-free, low-heat servers; has an aggressive recycling policy; and allows telecommuting and flexible working hours (which cuts the amount of gas wasted idling in rush-hour traffic). It also offers discounts for environmentally minded non-profits.
“Since advertising our commitments to sustainability, the vast majority of new customers we have added in the past two years have been part of the eco movement and/or place importance on sustainability. Overall, I'd say about half of our customers are in some way tied into the eco movement, but that number is increasing every day,” Anderson noted.
A website is not green just because it is paper-free and doesn’t drive across the country to deliver information. It uses power and plenty of it. But, as a website owner, you can lower your site’s carbon footprint by using a Web hosting company that relies on renewable energy.
[Full disclosure: EcoHearth uses Canvas Dreams to host our site and we are a member of their affiliate program. - Ed.]
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