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How to Choose a Green Web Host

By In Web Hosting On October 6, 2014

green web hosting

Data centers are some of the biggest drains on the global power grid. Huge amounts of energy are used to power servers, often stacked into racks in their dozens. All of this equipment is switched on round the clock, so data centers also use huge air conditioning units that circulate the air.

Companies like Google have started to go green by building data centers in cooler climate countries. Their Hamina data center in Finland uses sea water as a natural coolant, running it through the system over and over to keep system temperatures stable.

This kind of system is inspiring a new era of green web hosting, and businesses can do their bit by purchasing an eco-friendly plan. But it’s going to take time for Google-style data centers to filter through to the rest of us.

Best of the Rest

These modern data centers, with their icy natural cooling, are still quite rare. Most existing data centers are situated in locations that have grown up around big US hosting companies. Houston, Texas is the world’s data center capital, but the temperature soars well into the 90s in summer.

So what can hosts do to make them greener if they’re already using these data centers?

There are two main routes:

  1. Renewable Energy Credits (RECs): these are credits purchased by the host to offset their carbon emissions. The revenue created by these tokens is ploughed into eco-friendly projects in an offsetting program. Hosts use RECs because they are quick and easy to implement, and often far less costly than the alternatives.
  2. Using clean power: this is a tougher option, since the hosts has to source their energy locally, and that means finding a wind or solar supplier close to the data center.

Finding a Green Web Host

So how do you choose great green web hosting?

  • See if your existing host is striving to be carbon neutralwith RECs, remote working and reduced office waste
  • If they’re not, research hosts on our site to find a new, clean alternative

One great option is GreenGeeks, an all purpose web host that promises to purchase 300% RECs for the energy it uses. Learn more about GreenGeeks.

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