What Does Green Hosting Really Mean?
The problems of climate change and global warming have become more pronounced in recent times. Several studies have shown that greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels have altered the atmosphere causing weather conditions to change in unexpected ways. As a result, many people around the world have started to embrace a ‘green lifestyle’ in a bid to reduce the effect their lives are having on global warming and the environment. This article will show how hosting companies have contributed to the growing problem of global warming and how ‘green hosting’ is an environmentally friendly option for users who wish to keep their carbon footprint low.
Fossil fuels, carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect
Carbon dioxide is a byproduct gas produced when fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas are burned. This gas gets trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere and prevents light radiation from the sun from escaping due to an effect called the ‘greenhouse effect’. As a result, the atmosphere becomes hotter which affects weather conditions around the world.
Fossil fuels are burned in a variety of different ways to produce energy. One of the main uses of fossil fuels is to produce electricity. Power plants across the globe burn fossil fuels to produce heat energy which is then converted into electricity that is used to power electrical appliances. Research has found that as much as ¾ of the electricity produced in the UK is produced by burning fossil fuels.
Hosting companies and electricity use
Computers are amongst the thirstiest electrical appliances available today – there are few appliances that use as much electricity as a computer.
Hosting companies use a lot of computers to host websites. These computers often use ‘server grade’ equipment that is higher quality than standard computer equipment and consumes slightly more electricity, too.
The data centers that house this equipment are amongst the highest users of electricity – on average, a data center uses 10x more electricity than an equivalently sized office.
Green hosting companies aim to provide environmentally friendly hosting packages that impact the environment less than standard hosting packages. This comes at a cost, however – green hosting is often slightly more expensive than standard hosting.
Green hosting companies aim to reduce their impact on the environment in a variety of ways.
Many green hosting companies use alternative and renewable electricity sources such as wind power and water power to power their data centers. These alternative electricity sources do not produce carbon dioxide as a byproduct and do not affect the environment in any negative way.
Other green hosting companies use carbon offsetting to offset their use of fossil fuels. Carbon offsetting works by calculating how much carbon dioxide is produced as a result of a company’s electricity usage. Donations are then made to carbon offsetting agencies that set up energy saving schemes that can produce renewable energy and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere. These schemes can include the creation of new wind turbines, new water power stations, or tree planting schemes that help to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen through photosynthesis.
Many green hosting companies also use energy efficient equipment that uses less electricity than regular equipment. This equipment is costlier than regular equipment, however, but they can provide long term savings due to their lower electricity usage costs.
The internet and the infrastructure powering it are growing at an incredibly quick pace. Dozens of data centers are being created each year to accommodate the increased hosting needs of internet users which is causing a great deal of environmental pollution. For the eco conscious, green hosting companies offer an easy way to host a website without impacting the environment in a negative way.