I thought this was really cool. We are already “greening” our site in different ways, but this is a great article about 10 Easy Ways to Green Your Web Site. Here is what we have done in response to each one of those 10 items.
1. Environmentally Friendly Web Hosting
We use Dreamhost. They offset their carbon they use in their building and even the gas they use to get to their office by purchasing carbon credits from Green-e, For many businesses, depending on the kind of building they are in, carbon credits are one of the few options. Dreamhost has been offseting their carbon long before it was popular.
2. Offset Your Carbon Usage
Carbon credits are controversial and everyone is still trying to figure out if they work and how they are tracked. There are some great organizations out their offering this service, Green-e, TerraPass and Carbonfund are the most popular. Right now most of these efforts by us are community based. We have something brewing that is going to help this process along greatly. Stay tuned!
3. The 350 lbs. Project
I like this. I think this is a great way to get companies to commit and sponsor green projects and be green at the same time. We are going to see a lot more of this in 2010. A new business model is emerging surrounding this called, “Donation by Action” and we posted a story about it called, Great story about cancer, follow Drew Carey on Twitter and he will donate 1 Million to LIVESTRONG! By the way, we joined and you should too!
4. Join 1% For the Planet
I have seen this floating around out there for awhile. One of our clients, Thinkwear is a member and really explained how and why they are using this organization. What came through loud and clear is commitment. Literally, you are putting your money where your mouth is. You are committing to donating 1% of your sales to any of the environmental organizations listed on their website. This ensures a clean and honest transaction with your business and the benefitting environmental organization. Because we believe in this idea so much and we know that no one can do it alone, we currently are in the process of becoming a member.
5. Offer Eco-Incentives to Subscribers
I think this idea is essential. We believe this should come in the form of tangibles and intangibles. Get people to come to an event or give them discounts or free stuff. At the very essence though, there should be a significant amount of education to go along with it. Currently we are doing this in the form of contest giveaway’s, We will be doing this more consistently and interactively in 2010.
6. Encourage Green Lifestyle Changes
Green starts at home. I really think that you have to immerse yourself in it. It has to become part of your home life choices if you want to adopt it in other areas of your life, such as work and recreation. There are so many ways to make your life a lot more interesting and get you and your family to participate in being green. I definitely think visiting sites like, Treehugger and Mother Nature Network are really good at staying up to date, but I think there are some really good books too. The Urban Homestead (Amazon Link) is a new favorite of mine that actually gives you step by step instructions on how to become more sustainable at home. Also, No Impact Man (Amazon Link) is a great book about how a family in New York went extreme and went uber green for one whole year. Both of these books are entertaining and give insight into how fun and exciting sustainability can be.
7. Simplify Your Design
I am a big advocate of this. My background is in Web Development and at my company 3GC Interactive one of the big lessons we try to teach is to be obvious. When presenting information on your website, be short and to the point. This is not only for your writing, but your graphics. If you want someone to click somewhere, say “Click Here” if you want someone to buy something, say “Buy Now.” Eliminating obstacles is really half of what web design is all about. We are always striving to do this, with our design, information and goals. We are always striving to be more efficient, refine our goals and improve our site, you should too.
8. Speed Up Your Site
This is true. Slow loading times take up more energy. There are many reasons why and a few are indicated in the original article, but for all purposes, it just does. We use WordPress for WesChyrchel.com, so we use the WP Super Cache plugin. This reformats how portions of the website our accessed and makes that pathway more efficient. For example, if a particular page that you are requesting has not changed recently, it will keep it stored in an area that is easier and faster to get to than going the traditional route. By using this plugin it has increased the speed or our website significantly.
9. Use Printer-Friendly Versions of Content
Well, I don’t know about this one. On WesChyrchel.com we don’t like people printing anything. I mean really, these days you shouldn’t have to print anything unless you need to sign it. Hopefully, digital signatures will get more commonplace too. If you really think printing is essential for your site, then, yes please employ the recommendations in the original article, but if you can help it, please use alternatives, like a mobile version of your website!
10. Consider Your Colors
Yes, black was the new white, back in the big monitor days. Now almost everyone uses LCD monitors which use 200% less power than older big monitors. That in and of itself is a huge savings. Now it appears that LCD’s use more power producing darker colored sites. At WesChyrchel.com we have a light colored site and that is good, but the more impressive power aspect is that people are almost exclusively using LCD’s instead of CRT’s these days and that power savings is huge.
We think that all business need to go green and become more sustainable. 2010 is the year to do this and making your website green is a great first step in the process.