How green is my internet?

greendataThe 2 Degrees Network points out that if the Internet were a country, it would be the sixth-largest consumer of electricity on the planet, behind Russia, Japan, China, India, and the US. It is estimated that the Internet consumes nearly 10% of global electricity consumption and according to Blue DotRegister, the world’s data centers consume between 1.1 and 1.5%, which is approximately 300 million megawatt hours of electricity annually. That’s the equivalent to the power consumed by 21.8 million American homes and the CO2 output of 46 volcanic eruptions. Wow! So here are some facts:

– In the US, less than 15% of internet use electricity comes from renewable sources, according to the Energy Information Administration.

– According to the appropriately named website, TweetFarts, a single tweet puts about .02 grams of CO2 into the atmosphere.

– With Twitter users sending over 500 million tweets every day, the social media giant potentially emits nearly 4,000 metric tons of CO2 each year.

–  And Twitter is just one of a growing number of social networks.

– Energy-efficient online communications that are powered by 100 percent renewable energy offers the potential to save up to eight billion tons of CO2 by 2020.

greenserverSo, here’s the question – How can you  improve your website’s energy efficiency? Well 2 Degrees offer some good advice but here are some simple tips that you might want to think about if you want to see a more sustainable online world:

– Migrate to a hosting provider powered by 100 percent renewable energy

– Streamline your site’s content structure to make popular content types easier to find

– Design your site so users can find content easily

– Optimise Performance – remove large  background images, remove things like unnecessary slideshows and use lightweight images, significantly cutting down load times and server requests.

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