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What Is Green Hosting?

Hosting a website takes a tremendous toll on the environment. The World Wide Web, in general, has guzzled tons of energy. From the energy it takes to power computers on the user's end to the energy necessary to host a website on a server that is "always on," websites are simply not "green" creatures. For web designers, green hosting offers an alternative that allows them to lessen the impact their websites have on the environment. Looking for a list of green web hosting companies then follow this link.

The Problem Web Servers Use Energy, Even Shared Web Hosting

Between 2000 and 2005, energy consumption related to the web doubled, and it has not stopped growing since then. While a small portion of this increase is due to new people accessing the Internet on a daily basis, close to 90 percent of the growth in energy consumption is due to the number of new servers being employed to keep websites up and running.

How does this translate into energy consumption? Some energy conservationists estimate that in the year 2005, the amount of power necessary to run the servers in the United States alone was equal to that of five nuclear power plants. When considering all of the servers in the world, the energy consumed is equal to that of 14 power plants. It cost over $7 billion to power the world's servers in 2005, and that cost has continued to increase over the past several years. 

In a day and age when everyone is concerned about the environment and the dwindling energy sources, this is a very real problem. It is not one that will go away easily, though, because the Internet is integrated into the fabric of our society. Many, if not all, businesses are reliant on the Internet in some way, making it a driving economic force. One way you can reduce the impact of webservers is to use a shared web hosting account when possible, and if you can, one that offers green web hosting.

The Solution Green Web Hosting and Green IT

Energy draining servers are a problem, but there is a solution to the problem. That solution is green web hosting. Green hosting is hosting that is done in an environmentally friendly way. There are two basic ways to do this. 

One way to choose eco friendly web hosting is to choose a company that purchases Renewable Energy Certificates. By buying these credits, the hosting company is investing money in eco-friendly electricity producing methods, such as solar energy or wind energy. 

The second way is for the hosting company to use a renewable energy source to generate its own power. For instance, the company could use solar panels to make some or all of the energy it needs to keep the server up and running. Some eco friendly web hosting companies are able to power all of their equipment with self-generated renewable energy. 

Either solution is a good one. As long as the hosting company is doing something to be environmentally friendly, you are fairly safe in choosing the most affordable option that has the services and features you need. The point is that you need to do something to make a difference in the environment, and purchasing green web hosting is an easy way to do so while still creating and running a successful website. As you shop for a host for your website, be sure to focus on those who use green hosting methods. 

In some cases it is impossible to use a shared web hosting account and you need your own dedicated server. Even here you can minimize the environment impact by selection dedicated hosting service providers that offer green servers.

Sources:

Allan Chen, "Data center energy use: truth versus myth"
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Website, July 16th, 2002, <http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/data-center-energy-myth.html>
Accessed June 3, 2009

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, "Data Center Energy Consumption Has Doubled Since 2000"
Information Week Website, February 15, 2007, <http://www.informationweek.com/news/global-cio/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=197006210>
Accessed June 3, 2009

Stephanie N. Mehta, "Behold the server farm"
CNN Money website, July 28 2006, <http://money.cnn.com/2006/07/26/magazines/fortune/futureoftech_serverfarm.fortune/index.htm>
Accessed June 4, 2009


 

 

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