Did you know that there is such a thing a “green web hosting?” No, really! “No elephants were hurt in the creation of this web page!”
More seriously, our computers take quite a bit of power. My netbook sips a mere 20 watts, my production machine guzzles up to 400. Imagine what a whole datacenter of servers consumes. Think about it: machine after machine sucking power from the grid to await your click 24/7. Chances are the power fueling that datacenter is not clean.
While no “clean” energy solution is without its drawbacks, wind power is one of the most viable options for reducing fossil fuel use in energy production. Shifting the energy infrastructure is an uphill battle, however, as the high costs of bring new wind farms online has to compete with the artificially low costs of traditional power plants. To help fund the development of wind energy production they are frequently included in the controversial, yet still beneficial, carbon offset programs.
Yes, I know. The idea that reducing damage in one place to offset damage in another is considered a joke by many, but the net result is that alternative energy projects gets funding that they might not otherwise receive.
I am quite pleased to say that the web server for my site is hosted “green.” Green Geeks* funds wind power projects to the equivalent of 3 times their power usage. Its good service, too, and I was surprised to find it less expensive than some of the non-green services out there. Its a small way to do our part to move towards sustainability – along with planting a garden, trying LED lightbulbs and turning the television (and computer) off when you’re not using it.
* My IT guy, Chris Shaeffer, signed up to be an affiliate of both Green Geeks and Canvas Dreams green hosting providers. We’re not going to stand on street corners hawking their wares for our own profit, but if you are looking for a green hosting service consider using those links and we’ll donate any commission to our non-profit, Olohana.