Have you ever thought about the impact that all the data that you store on Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, video and photo web sites have on the environment, not to mention web sites in general? The word has started to get out about the environmental impact of the internet, and the vast amounts of polluting energy required to power and cool the data centres that run it. It is claimed that by the year 2020 the internet’s carbon footprint will be larger than the airline industry’s carbon footprint.
While searching for a good web hosting service for this blog, that point was at the back of my mind. Sure, there are cheaper options out there – but what are the *real* costs to the environment? It turns out that there are currently not many green web hosting services. The ones that do exist are largely regular businesses who purchase carbon credits and/or try to reduce their power usage. Others are resellers of solar-powered web hosting provided by AISO in California. While those initiatives are indeed admirable, in the end, I decided to bite the bullet and go straight to the source (AISO). Hopefully, I’ve made the right decision.