Greener Web hosting - What is it? Can I make the switch too? If so, how?

You always hear about your audience wanting to see the behind-the-scenes (BTS) of your business. But have you ever thought about what goes on BTS besides your day-today? Have you thought about what has to happen in order to host your website? Who makes it live? What machinery is used? How much energy is consumed?

When I started Eco-Friendly Events just over a year ago, I too was guilty of this. I only thought about making a website live as quickly as possible so that I could look professional to future clients.

And at the end of November 2020, I received an email about my subscription ending for my domain name and host. I began wondering, as a service-based business who’s predominantly operating from my home office and co-working space, how could I possibly be eco-friendlier besides going paperless? (If you’re interested in getting FREE expert advice on becoming eco-friendlier, sign up for a FREE Customized Eco-Tip).

So, as with anything else I started to do some research.

Then, I stumbled upon something called green web hosting.

According to Wikipedia, Green Hosting or Eco-Friendly Hosting: is internet hosting which involves green technologies to reduce environmental impact.

Green technologies includes a wide range of activities such as carbon offsetting, powering data centres with renewable energies, planting trees around and over data centres and using energy-saving appliances.

Once I realized the existence of green web hosting, I began the process of transitioning my own website into an eco-friendlier one. Here’s how:

Step 1. Ask Questions

Before I thought about jumping ship, I hopped on a live chat with my website hosting provider: SquareSpace. I figured, if they were currently a green organization without my knowledge or perhaps transitioning into a greener organization then maybe, just maybe I didn’t have to switch anything!

What I did find out is that they although they are in the process of reducing their impact within their offices, I got really vague answers about their data centres and energy consumption that I was not really satisfied with.

Step 2. Research

Next, I began Googling “green website hosts.” To my pleasant surprise, I discovered many across the world from Canada, the U.S. and Europe! From there, I dove into reading and differentiating the various initiatives each company carried out to be eco-friendlier.

I found many that participated in carbon offsetting, while others relied on renewable energy sources.

I created a chart of sorts to really compare not only their sustainability efforts but also their features and pricing options.

Step 3. My Beliefs, Values & Non-Negotiables

After much research, I knew that I personally have mixed feelings about carbon offsetting, in some scenarios it’s a great “solution” but I always believe that it should be used as a last resort.

Carbon Offsetting is defined as an action or activity (such as the planting of trees or carbon sequestration or investing in wind farms) that compensates for the emission of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

In essence, another resource such as tree planting is supposed to balance the amount of carbon emissions released from a particular activity by taking it out of the atmosphere.

I realized that all of the providers that offered carbon offsetting were NOT a top choice for me, and proceeded to create the following set of non-negotiables for the website host I were to choose:

  • Canadian-based (local to me)

  • Run on renewable energy

  • Energy saving servers/appliances

Step 4. Make a Choice

After comparing my values with the top green web host providers (in my chart), I decided to opt for Web Hosting Canada because it not only met my non-negotiables, it exceeded them!

Web Hosting Canada is based in Montreal (✅ local to Canada), its data centres are powered by hydroelectricity (✅ runs on renewable energy), their they use Solid State Drives which are more energy efficient (✅ energy saving), they’re paperless, and use eco-friendly cooling systems.

If you’re interested in making the switch to Web Hosting Canada, you can use my affiliated link here to sign up.

Step 5. Transition my Website

One Black-Friday purchase I made was with Web Hosting Canada. Then with the recommendations from my business coach (Stephanie Pellet), I decided to create my website with WordPress. So I searched and purchased a WordPress template and began re-creating my website.

(Stay tuned as I re-create my sales pages, about me and home pages on my new website.)

Step 6. Sit Back, Relax and Breathe

I’m not quite on step 6 just yet, but once I am done. I will be able to sit back, relax and breathe cleaner air knowing that having my live website for clients, potential clients and colleagues is far eco-friendlier than it has ever been in the past.

Remember that despite being strictly an online, service-based business there are easy ways like swapping website hosts (especially if you’re already a non-Square Space user).

Always do you research, figure out your personal beliefs and non-negotiables and select the green web hosting provider that best aligns with your needs. Then finally make the transition!

Are you interested in learning how you can make something more eco-friendly in your business? Do you have a specific problem that you’re feeling sticky with? Get some expert advice from me by signing up for a FREE Customized Eco-Tip.

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