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Green hosting

7th February 2011

What is all this ‘Green’ anyway?

Over time and cultures, the term ‘Green’ has been given a broad and sometimes conflicting range of meanings. In some cultures, green symbolises hope and growth –“the green shoots of recovery” while in others, it is associated with death, sickness, ill-well – “Green with envy”.

The most common associations these days are to be found in its ties to nature, with conservation, the environment and saving the planet. Recent political groups have taken on the colour as symbol of their beliefs in environmental protection and social justice, and consider themselves part of the ‘Green movement’ – ie “The Green Party”. All this ‘Green’ has led to similar campaigns being used in advertising, as companies have sold ‘Green’, or environmentally friendly products.

‘Going Green’

Have you ‘Gone Green?’ To go green refers to a person, a business or organisation choosing to employ behaviours that are more environmentally friendly. We can all do this! All this can be done with several tiny steps by all of us. We can ‘Go Green’ by using the net more. Next time you have a meeting booked, consider web-conferencing and save that journey (not to mention the fuel use and so emissions). Encourage the use of email so reducing paper use hence waste. But what about the net itself? Can the net ever be ‘Green’?

Quote: “The Guardian” –

“The latest research suggests that you create 20mg of CO2 per second per visit to a website.”

It goes on to say…

“Last month some headlines suggested that a Google search generated 7g of CO2 – the same as making a cup of tea. This left the eco-minded home worker in a real quandary: I chose the cup of tea. Later Google corrected this to 0.2g per search. But still, it all adds up!” – I chose the tea and the net!

Quote: “Wikipedia”

“World internet usage statistics show that the internet is still doubling in size in the U.S. and growing from 400 to 1000% a year, worldwide. In fact, the total electric bill to operate those servers and related infrastructure equipment was $2.7 billion in the United States and $7.2 billion worldwide. It is estimated that if energy consumption with web hosting keeps raising at the current rate by 2020 the industry will be more polluting than the airline industry. With so much demand on resources, eco-friendly hosting services, utilizing green marketing, has emerged.”

Green Hosting

What about going for the ‘Green Hosting option?’ Every website you visit today (including this one) is hosted somewhere. Somewhere are halls and halls of servers creating lots and lots of heat, pulling lots and lots of amps, and all this power has to come from somewhere. Many hosting companies now offer ‘Green Options’

What are they actually offering?

  • The use of Solar Panels or wind-turbines ensuring the power used is eco-sourced
  • Offices and servers cooled by natural air cooling
  • Super efficient building design and materials used
  • Offices which use only natural/low energy lighting
  • The use of rainwater in eco-friendly refrigeration processes
  • Wireless data transfer processes to reduce the need for heavy groundwork’s

Some companies offer:

  • Ethical credentials:
    • They aim to be ‘Carbon-Neutral’
    • Run paper-free offices
    • Source locally or ‘Fair-trade’ supplies
    • They support home-working
    • They operate pro-active re-cycling schemes
      • Old equipment
      • Ink cartridges
      • Paper/card

Some companies support:

  • The use of low energy, low CO2 emission servers/computers
  • The use of high efficiency servers/computers
  • The support of reputable carbon-offset schemes

Some of the options available to us in our choice of web-hosting are things we all can do. I say ‘Going Green’ with ‘Green Hosting’ is as much about saving your company, organisation or house-hold money as it is saving the planet. It’s like the old war-time adage “make do and mend!” Turning off lights and equipment when it’s not being used, not leaving taps dripping or the house brick in your toilet cisterns trick to use less water is going to help you save money – try ‘Green Hosting’ – and help save the planet