Green is getting everywhere. Whether it’s eco fashion, organic food, recycling or solar powered homes, going green is becoming big business. And why not because even if you’re a skeptic on the whole climate change issue, who doesn’t want to look after our world for future generations? And given the option, would you not rather choose a green, sustainable option over an environmentally unfriendly non-sustainable one? But while the race to go green takes off, there are still industries which are lagging behind. And the last time we checked, web servers and their data centres don’t run off grass.
In fact, according to some studies, the average server produces the same levels of harmful emissions as some models of fuel-guzzling SUVs. And since modern living waits for no man, with emails and communication expected to be available all day every day, the impact of switching to green web hosting could be immense. But what defines it? Well, with so many web hosting firms claiming to be green, it’s worth having a look at the level of their green credentials before diving in and making a purchase. And to help, here is a quick rundown of the options of green web hosting.
Green powered hosting applies to those that use the Earth’s natural elements, like for instance wind. And in America, Texas is home to the top two biggest wind farms in the world. It’s helping to shape the US commitment to going green when it comes to the internet and specifically web hosting. Solar powered data centres are another option to deliver green web hosting. This works by harnessing the power of the sun throughout the day, then storing enough charge in batteries to keep the power running throughout the night. These data centres and web hosts are located where the sun shines the most, with the desert being an ideal location. And the hydro power option is another way that some web hosts are providing 100% green powered data centres. This works in the same way all hydro power, using water as the basis to generate energy.
So it is possible for some web hosts to power their data centres directly with renewable energy sources. However for the vast majority of green web hosting firms, these options aren’t possible due to companies’ city centre locations. So how do they go green? Well, carbon offsetting is the main way with web hosting firms such as Memset achieves this goal, by paying into schemes that capture CO2 or other green house gases. Typically carbon offsetting is carried out by third party organisations such as The Carbon Neutral Company, who assess how much carbon a company needs to offset then helps them find solutions to do so such as planting trees.
Another method is by following a commitment to purchasing energy efficient servers and office equipment. This is how some web hosting firms market their green credentials. Other web hosting firms have commitments to using recycled paper in their offices and recycling old hardware. So when it comes to going green, it just goes to show, there are plenty of sustainable web hosting options out there.
About the Author: Ben Jones is a tech writer sharing experiences and investigations into the world of online, gadgetry, social media and cloud hosting.