Did you know that the internet is the fastest-growing carbon polluter?
Servers power the internet. Servers consume a lot of energy and are powered by fossil fuels. Websites are hosted on servers, and with over a billion websites in existence, this stresses the environment.
However, it is not just servers themselves that pose a problem. There are other ways in which web hosting consumes energy. Servers require several amenities to function properly. This includes things like electronic security, climate control, and the infrastructure of the building they’re housed in.
Another way that web hosting impacts the environment is through the manufacturing of server hardware and components. This process requires a lot of power and involves chemical processing, mining, industrial waste production, and global transportation.
Lastly, the environment is impacted by the space required for data centres and the resources used in their construction.
A green web host is a hosting company that aims to be as environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient as possible. In general, these providers will offset their energy usage by buying renewable energy or other credits from environmental non-profits. They also purchase Energy-Star-rated servers to further reduce their energy usage and focus on shared hosting, which utilizes fewer servers, land, and resources.
Therefore to reduce your environmental impact, you should use a green web hosting company.
How Does Green Web Hosting Work?
There are a number of steps that a green web host provider will take to decrease its overall environmental impact. The precise manner in which they do this varies from provider to provider. However, in general, there are several standard methods that green web hosts use to reduce their carbon footprint:
1. Renewable Energy
Regardless of how efficient a data centre is, it will invariably need to use some electricity. The way in which electricity is produced is the primary factor affecting a web host’s carbon footprint.
While some companies can derive 100% of their energy from renewable sources, most companies aren’t feasible. As a result, many hosts purchase green energy credits. Basically, they purchase clean energy based on their own energy usage in order to balance out their energy consumption from non-green sources.
2. Efficient Server Software
A heavy computing load requires a server to use more energy than a light computing load. Servers also heat up as they use computing power, so the more power they use, the hotter they become, and the more power needs to go into cooling them down. As a result, bloated or inefficient software, either OS, utility, or the application layer, can have a detrimental effect on the environment. For this reason, green web hosts will use efficient, resource-optimized operating systems, and web servers.
3. Keeping Things Cool Naturally
As we mentioned, servers get hot and need to be cooled down. This can be very energy-intensive. For this reason, green web hosts will try to utilize some form of natural cooling. This can include locating a data centre near a river, sinking geothermal heat-exchange loops, or positioning the building in sub-Artic regions to use the naturally cold air.
4. Energy-Efficient Server Hardware
Given that the majority of the environmental impact of web hosting is the power that physical computer use, a necessary step in being a green web host is to utilize more efficient machines. One of the main ways this is done is by using an SSD (solid-state drive). SSDs tend to be more economical energy-wise than the alternative, HDD (hard disk drive). This is because HDDs have spinning-disks.
5. Using Account Space Economically
If you run a machine at half-load, it will use less energy than if it were to run fully. However, running two-half loaded machines will use more power than a single machine running at full capacity. In other words, it’s better for the environment if you run more things on fewer machines. Therefore, a green web host will utilize intelligent load balancing across a network of connected servers to reduce the overall number of necessary physical machines.
What Web Host Should You Use
Now that you know how green web hosting works, the question becomes what green web host should you use? The best web hosting provider in that niche is GreenGeeks. Of all the web hosting options, they are the only host that has eco-friendliness as a core company value. They offset their energy consumption by replacing three times the energy they consume with renewable energy credits. Furthermore, their hosting platform is energy efficient, and they use SSDs.