Greener blogging

What’s the environmental impact of ‘Where stuff comes from‘? And of the internet as a whole? Could blogging about sustainability actually contribute to climate change, albeit in a very small way…? I turned to Tom Greenwood, sustainability blogger and co-founder of specialist WordPress design agency Wholegrain Digital, to find out.

It turns out that internet emissions are huge; in fact, it’s been calculated that the internet uses more electricity each year than the whole of the United Kingdom. Amazingly, internet carbon emissions are on a par with the aviation industry.

Fortunately you don’t have to be an IT geek to blog more sustainably.

One quick and easy win is to switch to a greener web host. Tom’s advice is to check whether hosting providers demonstrate commitment to environmentally-friendly operations through initiatives such as carbon offsetting, renewable energy usage, energy efficient electronics (and by donating to not-for-profit environmental organisations).

For Where stuff comes from, Tom recommended German company Raidboxes, who partner with Interxion for environmentally-friendly data centre services. (80% of Interxion overall energy usage comes from sustainable sources including water, solar and wind; which is impressive. Even better, the specific data center in Frankfurt used by Raidboxes is certified as 100% renewable energy).

I migrated Where stuff comes from to Raidboxes earlier this month, and was impressed by their speedy response to my various queries both on technical issues and in relation to their environmental credentials. An added bonus is faster downloading speeds, and some proactive suggestions from the Raidboxes team on how to further improve performance.

Good website design and management can also reduce carbon emissions. So I’ll be liaising with Tom on how to make Where stuff comes from even more energy efficient in the future. For example, data transfer is a big contributor to carbon emissions, so something as simple as deleting old files and photos can make a worthwhile difference.

I’d thoroughly recommend Wholegrain Digital for information and advice on sustainable websites. They’re a Certified B Corporation and are committed to “doing business in a way that brings health and happiness to our clients, our team and our world”. If you’re interested in environmentally-friendly IT, take a look at their Wholesome Business Podcastblog and ethical policy.

You can also read more about Wholegrain Digital co-founders, Tom and Vineeta, on Where my clothes come from – No 12.

Note. I don’t usually accept ‘freebies’ for review, as my view is that it compromises independence. However, Wholegrain Digital managed my migration to Raidboxes without charge, but in return for feedback on the process and service. This will help them in making recommendations on 100% renewables website hosts to other clients.


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Sue Written by:

I'm a finance professional who's interested in whether we're accounting for the right things in the right ways.

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