Green Web Hosting Options

For many reasons, just like us, Ripples needs a new home.  Wordpress.com, while a wonderful starter platform in many ways, does not give us the versatility we need.  We can’t promote wonderful local businesses, tweak subtle elements of the site’s appearance, or do a host of other things that would really push the peaks of our Ripples to the sky and beyond.

Green Web Hosting

Like a bag of digital groceries, we’re planning to pick up our website and plop it into a different home.  This should not change anything for you.  You’ll be able to access us just as before.  However, hopefully you’ll begin to notice a few wonderful benefits from this change.

  1. With our new fine-grained control over visual elements, we should be able to improve your visual and navigational experience at Ripples.
  2. Every time you access Ripples, you can rest assured that your click is pumping a fraction of green energy into the electrical grid.

As far as I can tell, reliable green website hosting services very rarely produce their own energy on site.  At least the five (5) I looked into deeply consistently claim that installing wind, solar, or other renewable energy systems on site would be too costly or challenging.

Instead, they purchase accredited carbon offsets.  One company, GreenGeeks, claims to purchase three times more credits than they need to cover the power their web servers use.  In other words, they still pull energy from the grid, but they purchase enough wind-energy credits to cover their energy usage in addition to supplying 200% more wind power to the grid.

No other company I found even comes close.  Hostgator utilizes 130% wind energy, and a few other services are 100% renewable powered.

Surely Companies Can Do More!

In my experience, most businesses are intensely conservative.  Given humans’ incredible ingenuity, I find it almost impossible that some forward-thinking tech entrepreneur cannot envision a 5-, 10-, or even 20-year plan for developing a fully off-grid data center and a business plan to out-compete standard grid-tied centers.  How about a 50-year global conversion process outlining the path from digital degradation to a truly carbon-neutral worldwide Internet?

Though perhaps somewhat unrealistic or demanding, this is what I expect from a truly green Internet company (or any socially responsible company, for that matter).  Current companies will at least acknowledge the challenges, and take easy, albeit costly, steps to address them on the surface.  However, they don’t outline how they plan to overcome them, or how their efforts will reverberate into other parts of their industry.  How will they strategically influence the culture of competitors?  How do they predict they will refine their existing strategies given the trends I expect them, as green-oriented companies, to regularly follow?

Still, I am guardedly impressed

It’s easy for me to sit here, ask questions, and point out opportunities for improvement.  I’m not immersed daily in the challenges of the industry.  Perhaps 300% wind energy obtained via accredited green-energy offsets is the best the industry can currently muster.

Though I ache to see an intentional, well-thought-out plan for how the Internet will become truly carbon neutral (and, given infinite time and energy, would educate myself sufficiently to aid greatly in the development of such a plan), I am willing to accept and embrace the best it can presently offer.

GreenGeeks will very likely become Ripples’ new home, unless someone knows of another, better option.  Let’s hope we have a mutually nurturing relationship!

~Ryan



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Lisa
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GreenMedInfo.com uses 100% solar powered hosting. They even show you pictures of the solar panels used, so no just paying carbon credits….real solar power! Check out their “live solar panel camera” here: http://www.aiso.net/live-cam.html
Check out why they use this hosting service: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/page/why-we-are-100-solar-powered

They use AISO.Ne for their hostingt: http://www.aiso.net/index.html?af=sayerji&bn=54

Lisa
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Oh, and did I mention AISO.Net has general hosting from $9.95/mo? pretty sweet
They are totally off-grid, no offsets needed! …been that way for 14 years

Lisa
Guest

Did my first comment get lost in the either?
GreenMedInfo.com uses 100% solar powered hosting with Aiso.net
See why here: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/page/why-we-are-100-solar-powered

Also see AISO.net here: http://www.aiso.net/index.html?af=sayerji&bn=54

See AISO’s live solar panel cam here: http://www.aiso.net/live-cam.html

rpbancroft
Guest

Oops, I think our silly filter ate your previous comment! I’m glad we managed to dig it out. Thank you so much for the other ideas! I hope to be looking into making the transition very soon, so I’ll definitely be digging into these options.

rpbancroft
Guest

Ooo, what a cool option! I’ll definitely take a look into ’em. At a quick glance, the space they provide is considerably limited. Also, they don’t seem to have any migration tools to help transfer the blog. It would present new challenges, but, honestly, that’s what our journey is all about overcoming. Thank you for pointing me to a truly off-grid option; I was having trouble finding any of them, even though I was told they existed!