It might come as a shock, but it’s true: your website has a big environmental impact – probably much bigger than you think.
In fact, some estimates show that by 2020, web hosting will surpass the airline industry in terms of environmental pollution – which is nuts (source).
Don’t feel guilty if you had no idea your website was such a polluter. I didn’t either until I made the switch to green hosting a few years ago. Most people just don’t think about the Internet when they think about pollution.
So let’s go over why your website hosting is dirtier than you might expect.
And, more importantly, I’ll also cover what you can do right now make your website green (without breaking the bank!).
Because Your Website is DIRTY!
If you’ve never heard of the concept of green hosting, you’re not alone. We’ve all gotten used to just opening our computers, pulling up websites, and reading til our heart’s content – without thinking about how the Internet actually works.
And without thinking about how our Internet use impacts our carbon footprint.
As it turns out, the Internet is a gas guzzler! (who knew?????)
Like I covered in my guide to building a website from scratch, websites are really just a big collection of computer files. And these files need a home – aka, a host.
So you need to use a hosting company if you want to build a website (unless you’re going with a free blog – but again, note that those companies also use the same energy-burning system).
And those hosting companies use servers – lots of ‘em.
And ‘servers’ is just a fancy word for computers/machines, that require energy to run (and they need to run 24-7, because the Internet runs 24/7). Servers also need energy to keep them climate controlled and safe, and to keep the lights on in their buildings.
You read that right: somewhere a computer is always ‘on,’ so that your website can be accessible any time night or day.
In fact, the Web Neutral Project estimates that your ‘average’ website creates 4,500 pounds of CO2 a year – the same as driving an ‘average’ car for 10,000 miles (source). What???
And all the servers for all the websites that are always on in the United States alone? The net effect is equal to that of 5 nuclear plants (source).
With 3 billion users online now, and that number expected to rise to over 7 billion by 2020 (source), then it’s clear that we need to clean up how we do things online.
We’ve all read all the reports about climate change and the numbers aren’t getting any better.
But thankfully, there is a SUPER easy, SUPER affordable way you can green your website and reduce its environmental footprint to zero …
How To Green Your Website
… Introducing green hosting!
Thankfully, in response to the environmental crisis in the web hosting industry, some ethical companies have emerged.
‘Green’ web hosts are so-called because they off-set their environmental impact buy purchasing credits and/or using more environmentally friendly technology. Switch to green hosting, and you immediately change the impact your website has on the environment.
I’ll cut right to the chase. I use GreenGeeks to host this website (and my other websites). I made the switch in 2015, and I’ve been happy ever since.
(And please keep reading – I’ve got some coupon codes at the bottom of this post if you’re interested in making the switch too!)
Why I Love GreenGeeks
Three years ago, when GreenGeeks approached me to see if I’d like to work with their affiliate program, I’ll be honest. I’d never heard of them, or the concept of green hosting.
But I was intrigued to learn more, and after a bit of research, I knew I had to make the switch.
(Thankfully, GreenGeeks makes it super easy to switch to their hosting – they do it for you, free of charge! Learn more here.)
And while of course I care about my carbon footprint, the reason I’ve stuck with them for three years isn’t because of their great environmental record (which I’ll get into in a minute), but because they’re just great hosts.
I also like them because, unlike some other green hosts, they don’t jack up their prices. The shared hosting I use starts at $3.95 a month (at the time of writing this article), which is very competitive in the hosting world, green or otherwise.
Compared to all the hosting companies I’ve worked with over the years, environmentally friendly or unfriendly, GreenGeeks also offers great support (and you know how important I think support is when considering an online service).
I’ve never had to wait more than a minute or two to start working with a real person on their live chat. And I’ve also never had a problem they haven’t been able to solve for me. These are the two most important issues I consider when thinking about a hosting provider.
But let’s get into the green stuff!
You read that right – that means they reduce their environmental impact by 300% – effectively wiping out their own carbon footprint and that of two other companies of their size.
That means your website is actually ‘carbon-reducing’ when you host with them – score.
Plus, GreenGeeks uses energy efficient hardware, and their data centres are also environmentally friendly. And they are committed to a ‘maximum use, no waste of resources mindset.’
Finally, I’m happy to report if you go to this link , you can also use these coupon codes to get some discounts:
20% annual shared hosting accounts
20% monthly, quarterly and annual reseller hosting accounts
20% monthly vps hosting accounts
Of course, there’s lots of other options out there, and I may be biased, since I’ve been a happy GreenGeeks customer for 3 years. But whether you go with GreenGeeks or another company, I hope you consider making the switch to green hosting.
I bet you’ll be happy you did – and the planet will thank you, too!
Psssst …. like the graphics in this post? I built them super easily and FOR FREE using Canva.
And all these great images are from Unsplash, and they were FREE too!
They’re two of my favourite online resources available to digitial marketers …
find them all with links here!