When you think of the concept of “Carbon Footprint“, the first that comes to mind might be related to traveling and using non-renewable sources of energy as fuel. Owning or running a website might not seem like an obvious source of environmental pollution. Is it?
A closer look at the website and webhosting industry reveals astonishing facts. According to the online carbon calculator Website Carbon, a medium-sized website requires not less than 1.75g of CO2 to view a single page. If it is a site that is well visited, with approximately 100 000 page views monthly, that comes to 2,112kg of CO2 a year. If the website is more prominent in size and has more complex features, it will take even more to load.
Most of the energy powering the data centers hosting and running websites doesn’t come from renewable sources. It is a coal-fired business that is taking its toll on our planet’s well-being.
Compared to websites running ten years ago, the ones today have an ever-increasing array of complex features and intricated designs, auto-playing videos, and more.
This is ringing an alarm in many companies oriented towards saving the planet. They stand behind minimalistic principles in the way a website is built and how it is used.
But is this the solution to the problem? Should we limit ourselves and our creativity, avoiding features essential to our marketing and the correct functioning of a website to save the planet? There is a more reasonable solution that saves both complex websites and the world, and it is…
Many companies have become aware of the alarming consequences of their digital marketing on the planet. They search and find hosting services that use renewable energy sources. They contribute actively to the reduction of the greenhouse effect by promoting initiatives such as reforestation.
Green Geeks is a pioneer in this area, but it is not the only one. This hosting company claims to put three times more energy into the grid than it consumes through renewable energy sources. And they host the astonishing number of more than 600,000 websites.
Green Web Hosting is the single most powerful solution you can choose. Not only are you not contributing to the greenhouse effect with your website, but the dollars you spend on your hosting are supporting the collective effort towards a greener future.
If changing your hosting is not an option, let’s see the other solutions.
Here is a list of some wise and ecology-consciousness strategies you can employ to reduce your website’s impact on the CO2 situation. A tip – these strategies do not intend to strip your website of every image and reduce it to the look of its precursors, the html sites. By using web resources mindfully, you can create unique, creative content that loads in a flash because it is so light on the system.
Here are some eco-friendly web design tips.
- Reduce the number of images – many website owners overload their site with heavy shots that are not always necessary. Using only strategic images keeps your viewers focused on the main points and can accomplish your marketing goals faster. Blinking images can be confusing and overwhelming.
- Use lighter formats for your graphics – Another tip is to use images in formats that preserve the quality while reducing the size.
- Use system fonts – custom font is unnecessary unless you are an artist and your job is to inspire creativity with your content. Some companies use this because they have money to spend and not because it really benefits their clients. Many standard pre-installed fonts inspire the same professionality and require less carbon to load, as viewers have most of them on their devices.
- An optimized design is sleek, functional, and fast-loading – a heavy website means that it is not built the right way. If you hire inexperienced web designers, chances are they will overload your site with plugins and unnecessary elements in a way an expert designer wouldn’t. When interviewing your web designer, choose the right one for the planet’s sake!
- Use creative methods that do not require massive bandwidth to load – with proper research and dedication. You can find innovative ways that use precious resources sparingly.
Being conscious of the environment means that with every move you make, you realize how tightly interconnected you are with our atmosphere and all living beings. This will lead to wiser use of resources. The fact that you pay a lot for something doesn’t mean that it has no negative impact on the planet.
By using common sense and creating awareness of the situation, you can give an example of rational use of internet resources and inspire others to change their mind, attitude, or behavior.