What is Green Hosting? How Does it Work?

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You might have heard the term “Green Hosting” but aren’t sure what that means for your company. In this article, we will touch base on why you should care about the Internet carbon footprint, what green hosting is and how to pick the right provider. After all, we can’t claim to care about the environment unless we are willing to make eco-conscious choices in every sector of our lives.

Internet Carbon Footprint

The Internet reaches farther than ever before. It continues to expand exponentially at rates we never imagined. What once was just plain text has become user-generated multimedia that includes video and audio. All of this content must be stored on servers and hosted in data centers. The facilities become massive to accommodate all of the servers required. These servers must also be contained in a cooled and controlled environment, which utilizes more power.

These sophisticated facilities produce large amounts of energy and carbon dioxide. That causes them to threaten the well-being of our environment. For the average user, little thought is given to the web host used. We pay for our monthly plans and upload our content. We don’t often think about what’s happening at the data center, but we should be. We drive the usage at the data center. It is ultimately our responsibility to know how our choices affect the environment.

What is Green Web Hosting?

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Green web hosting solutions focus on using renewable energy and other environmentally friendly resources. Most of the renewable energy is produced with natural resources. Wind power and hydroelectricity are the most common.

There are only a handful of web hosting companies currently taking steps to being a green provider. While the selection will expand in the coming years, customers want to do business with companies on the forefront of this critical movement.

Choosing a web host that uses renewable energy as well as efficient server hardware should be a top priority.

What are Renewable Energy Certificates (REC)?

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Most small to mid-sized web hosts can’t devote resources to build 100% renewable energy infrastructure. Instead of investing in construction, they purchase Renewable Energy Certificates. The RECs match how much non-renewable energy is used. Then, it gets replaced with the same amount of renewable resources. Each REC equates to one megawatt-hour of power.

The electrons on the power grid remain indistinguishable. That’s why it’s impossible to guarantee a source of origin. With the RECs, consumers are assured that the right amount of clean power makes it to the power grid.

The FTC, CRS, and EPA all regulate web hosting companies. They allow the host to claim renewable energy usage whenever they purchase RECs that match or exceed the current kWh.

How to Tell What Web Hosts are Green?

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Any green web host will proudly advertise that information. It takes a significant investment of resources to become a green web host, so they don’t want to keep it secret. You will often see the Green certificate displayed on their website. There will also be plenty of information on their website showing you the green initiatives they participate in.

Green Geeks, for example, is a company that built its entire brand on green hosting, so there’s no doubt they invest heavily in the practices. If you aren’t sure that your current website is hosted with a green company, it’s simple to check. Just enter the website address at The Green Web Foundation to find out. They currently estimate that about 21% of websites are powered by renewable energy.

Is Green Hosting the Solution?

We all want to go green in every area of our lives, so we must evaluate our web hosting practices. Having a green host doesn’t change the environment problem, but it’s a big step in the right direction. By choosing an eco-conscious provider, we go the extra mile with our efforts. You want to choose a company that shows genuine concern for the environment. There are plenty that simply use their green practices as a marketing ploy. Look carefully into the corporation’s initiatives and additional programs. Make sure they take every step possible to care for our Earth. Once you find the green host you want to use, share the message with others. Adding a Green Hosting accreditation banner or button to your site reminds others to take action. It also shares your love of the environment with your clients and lets them know you care about the future. Reduce your website’s carbon footprint by switching providers to an eco-conscious company today. The future is counting on you.