Have you decided to go “green” this year by choosing a web host that claims to be eco-friendly? It sounds like a great resolution for the New Year, but the issue is that some web hosting companies are confusing clients in what they are really offering. It’s tricky enough to pick a web host, but when you’ve decided to go with one that is supposed to be green too, you should know what that really entails.
Rather than just assuming this web hosting company you’ve carefully selected for their green initiative is really making a difference in their eco-friendliness, it’s important to look at the difference between 100% eco-friendly and offering true green hosting.
The differences lie in how one will purchase their carbon offset credits equivalent to what they produce in carbon emissions while the other is using renewable energy sources to power their equipment. Take a look at the differences between true green hosting and carbon offsetting.
What a green hosting company would do
You’ll most likely want to use a hosting company that is considered a green group. The good news is that the number of these groups continues to increase daily. It’s important that you do your research to understand who is truly green and who is not. You’ll have to look at who uses green technology for their web hosting services. Typically, the front page of their websites will clearly indicate if they use green technology as a hosting company.
You’ll know if a company is green because they are powering their equipment, data centers, and offices using renewable energy sources. An example of a hosting company you could plan on for green hosting is ThinkHost which uses wind and solar power. Solar Energy Host powers their equipment entirely by the sun while AISO.Net powers theirs with solar energy in addition to wind and water. These are truly green companies that you can feel good about supporting as they are doing good their part to keep our world greener and healthier.
What a carbon offsetting, eco-friendly group would do
Instead of relying solely on renewable resources, an eco-friendly group instead will do other things to help the environment. A hosting group can easily call themselves eco-friendly by simply using carbon offsetting in their operations.
This term refers to the practice of purchasing carbon credits in the amount that is equivalent to their carbon emissions. They can also work on reforestation efforts or purchase green tags, another name for Renewable Energy Certificates, in order to be considered ecologically friendly.
You’ll find many companies going eco-friendly compared to going entirely green. If you aren’t as concerned with their efforts to use renewable energy and simply want a company that cares about the environment, you could go with an eco-friendly company.
Companies like CR8change.org are working on reforestation efforts especially in areas that are damaged from summer wildfires and hurting the eco-system. The company will plant a new tree for every month a customer hosts with them.
Some companies are going the route of green tags or Renewable Energy Certificates. These are non-tangible commodities that show when 1 Mwh of electricity has been generated from a renewable energy resource such as solar, wind, or biofuels.
The most popular way to go eco-friendly is the route many hosting companies have chosen which is to purchase carbon credits. Carbon offsetting is popular it’s an affordable way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
It gives web hosts a great image when they purchase carbon credits and all it requires is to track how much in emissions they’ve produced over the year and purchasing carbon credits in the equivocal amount that they used. These credits will then go towards projects that are creating cleaner energy sources.
If you want to go with a truly green web hosting company, be sure to look carefully at what a web host is actually doing towards their eco-friendly vs. green efforts. All of these types of companies are doing their part to give back but in their own ways.