Many of you know that I build websites for a living, both as my day job and as a freelancer. Recently, it came to my attention that this is not completely “green.” Of couse, by green I am refering to ecologically friendly. Granted, websites are great, you can get lots of content and never destroy a tree to print it out… but what about all of the electricity it takes to run the site?
Of course, my website isn’t the only way I affect the CO2 in the atmosphere.
Each tweet I send consumes about 90 joules. So the roughly 50 million tweets sent on average per day delivers the equivalent of 1 metric ton of CO2.
And each Google search I make, emits 10x that amount. According to Google’s own published comparisons of how Google Searches tally up against everyday activities in terms of CO2 emissions, a five mile trip in the average U.S. automobile is equal to 10,000 Google searches.
Of course, I’m not going to give up my tweets and google searches, nor am I going to stop blogging or building websites for others, because it’s still better for the environment than the alternatives.
But I have found one interesting way to track and therefore minimize the carbon outputs of all of the websites I run. I am currently implementing an “environmental trustmark” on all of my websites. This trustmark tracks the CO2 emissions from my websites and if I choose, will allow me to purchase EPA-endorsed certificates showing that I am effectively powering the site with renewable energy from wind and solar farms to offset all of the carbon emissions by my site. This is also a great way to improve site efficiency and make sure that my websites load as quickly as possible.
Do you have any thoughts on “Going Green”? How about more creative ideas on how to make your carbon footprint smaller.**It should be noted that my father works for Gibson Generationg Station, a coal fire power plant. And that I have absolutely no personal issues with this type of energy production; however I believe that as we run out of easily accessible coal and oil, it is important to look for new and more efficient energy sources.