Monday, October 2, 2023

Practically Living Green

Showing practical reasons to live green.

Journal & Opinions

Is Your Website Contributing to Climate Change? It May Be

In our digital age, having a website is a part of doing business. And that’s why just about every business, large or small, has a website. Even contractors have their own personal website, but did you ever consider that your website is contributing to climate change?

The reality of the matter is that a website produces 6.8 grams of CO2 per page view on average. On its own, this is a negligible amount of emissions. But what about websites that average 10,000 monthly views?

Well, now you’re looking at 816kg of CO2 per year. That’s the same amount as a flight from London to Tokyo. In some cases, popular websites can do this in a single day, and this is making websites a big problem.

Currently, data center’s use 2% of the world’s electricity each year, which means that their total emissions equal the airline industry.

How Does A Website Produce Carbon?

Data Center

So, this is something that is hard for many people to grasp and not just for website owners. The same logic will apply to video streaming services, hosting game servers, or any other type of digital presence.

All of these actions take place in a data center. This is a building that contains things like servers, storage systems, routers, and other devices that are essential for the internet to function. These buildings operate 24/7 and consume a tremendous amount of electricity.

And that’s how the carbon is produced.

The electricity from these buildings does not all come from renewable sources. Instead, many use fossil fuels to produce the energy they need. Thus, the electricity they use is releasing emissions.

While the times are changing and many data centers are adopting greener energy sources, it’s still going to take years to see 100% adoption. Especially when the internet continues to grow on a year-by-year basis.

How Can I Prevent My Website From Doing This?

The solution is actually pretty simple, use a green web hosting company. There are two main ways they operate.

The first is to use renewable energy sources to power their hosting facilities. While the second is to purchase renewable energy to offset what they are using. Both of these result in a website without a carbon footprint.

These both have their own advantages.

Using renewable energy to fully power the facility means that your website is not emitting emissions at all. Many newer data centers can even send excess power to the grid to reduce the number of fossil fuels used.

Whereas, in the case of offsetting, your website is still emitting, if the facility is powered by fossil fuels, but they could technically purchase more power than they use. This means your website would actually be further reducing emissions from other areas.

Thus, you need to be aware of where your hosting provider get’s its energy from.

Does This Website Contribute to Climate Change?

This website uses GreenGeeks as a hosting provider to ensure we have a beneficial effect on the world.

The service uses a type of offsetting in which they purchase three times the energy used to host your website in renewable energy. This means every website they host is actually carbon-negative.

And in my experience, they have offered better-hosting services than non-green hosts while having better rates.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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