Eco-friendly Websites

by Angela Melfi
Eco-friendly Websites
  • July 30, 2014
  • Website Development, Dog and Rooster News

We hear about the digital cloud and imagine our data floating up into a pleasant white bubble. We connect our devices to an Internet connection and envision little radio waves in the recognizable shape of Wi-Fi pinging through the air. We read our screens instead of using so many trees and happily recycle the boxes these connective devices come in. We’ve gone green, using vast data online to help us do so. But is that the best we can do?

Can we build websites and web applications to go green as well?

The Internet has a larger carbon footprint than we realize. Putting out 830 million tons on CO2 per year, the Internet comprises 2% of greenhouse emissions, equal if not greater than the entire aviation industry. Cody Taylor and Jonathan Koomey of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory determined in a 2008 paper that it takes 13kWh to transmit 1GB online, resulting in 15.6 pounds of CO2e. On mobile devices that use 3G or 4G, the energy usage is even higher, producing 77 pounds of the harmful gas, equal to burning four gallons of gasoline.

Whenever you order something online, you may rejoice in the fact that it could mean another energy burning brick-and-mortar shop has closed, but with all of the shipping necessary to deliver you that item- does it truly equate?

The answer is yes. The Internet still remains a hero of the green age, cutting other industries’ emissions by over 8 billion tons. Teleconferencing, for instance, has reduced business travel by over 30 percent, and home and vehicle sharing are much more energy efficient than renting a hotel or vehicle. Numerous tutorials and sources of information on websites, mobile apps, and social media, means less how-to books around the house, and greater possibility for positive do-it-yourself change. The Internet can show you the green version of nearly anything, includingbuilding an eco-friendly website.

Happily, turning your website green might do the same for your wallet, helping your business with faster pages, better SEO, and improved mobile conversion.

More gigabytes means more pollution, so the goal of an eco friendly website is to get page sizes below the average 1.4 MB. To minimize your page weight, it is important to stop page bloat by optimizing images, compressing code, reducing carousels, and enforcing content strategy. Speeding up your pages can have an amazing effect on your website, as Google discovered when the home page of Google Maps was reduced from 100KB to 70-80KB, traffic going up 10% in the first week, and an additional 25% in the following three weeks (Farber 2006). Thinner than recycled paper, your green website will help the earth and attract clients.

The reduction of CO2 in our atmosphere happens one step at a time, and your website is an excellent place to move forward in.By informing ourselves of the impact the Internet has on our environment, we are able to change and improve.

We encourage you to contact Dog and Rooster, Inc. today to see how you can minimize your carbon footprint and maximize your sales.