April 6, 2022
When people talk about “The Cloud”, it’s easy to conjure up an image of magical particles moving effortlessly through the sky to deliver your website to your users. It’s such a friendly term! In reality though, your website is hosted on servers in a giant data centre with real-life hardware that takes a huge amount of energy to power and probably the same amount of energy to cool and keep secure (there are some riveting videos showing the inside of Amazon’s data centres on YouTube if you have trouble falling asleep one night).
Sadly, most of this electricity still comes from fossil fuels that pollute our environment and with 7.2 million data centres around the world and growing, hosting websites has a huge environmental impact that needs to be tackled.
However, there are now many companies that provide hosting infrastructure powered entirely by renewable energy and one of the easiest things you can do to make your website more sustainable is to move your hosting to one of these companies. Some go even further and build their data centres from the ground up in a way that makes them energy efficient. Although offsetting can sometimes be seen as cheating (a topic for another day) you’ll also find companies with excellent carbon offsetting schemes such as tree planting. We feel that the right thing to do is to reduce carbon emissions but we’re also firmly behind anything (however small) that goes some way to creating a positive impact.
You can find out if your site is hosted on a green solution through The Green Web Foundation. If not, you can then do a bit of research or speak with your development team to find an alternative solution (and don’t forget to get your cool badge to display on your site after you migrate!). At Pixeled Eggs, we’ve been using Kinsta for a few years now which means our sites use 100% renewable energy through Google Cloud Platform and Cloudflare with robust, secure, fast technology that’s also designed for performance.
Making this switch is unlikely to cost you more than what you may be paying for your infrastructure now (and in many cases will save you money as you move off old expensive technologies to newer, more efficient setups). As with anything related to supply and demand, the more the demand increases for green hosting, the more it will force companies who still use coal and gas to recycle their old technologies and move to renewable energy.