Global warming is a very real issue and changing your attitude and activities to reduce your carbon footprint is easily done at home (i.e. turning off your TV instead of pressing standby) but is it possible to be an environmentally-friendly web designer?
Transportation to/from work
The first thing you can do is take a look at the things you have control over, one of which, is transportation. If you can, why not take public transport or ride your bike/walk to work. Sadly, this isn’t always practical. My eco-friendly commute via bus and by foot takes at least 11/4 hours (to travel 8 miles) compared to the 15 minutes it takes me to drive. Consequently, I drive most days!
At the office
Once in the office there are energy savings that you can make. You could turn off your (and your colleagues’) computers at the end of the day, I also turn my monitor off when I’m out to lunch – every little helps.
Try to get your landlord/boss to install energy saving light bulbs and turn off/down the heating when possible.
Set up a recycling program at work. Even if you’re out in the sticks where nobody will collect your recycling you could take it in turns with colleagues to take the weekly collection down to the local supermarket and recycle it there.
Offset Web Server usage
Web servers are on 24/7 so they must be using a lot of energy. So why not reduce your carbon footprint by offsetting web server usage with tree planting. Rackspace offers a carbon neutral managed service and I’m sure many others do too.
Use energy saving colours
Yes you heard correctly, you can choose to use energy saving colours on your websites. I’m not making this up; there is an energy saving colour palette called Emergy-C. Apparently, if Google’s background colour was black as opposed to white they’d save 750 Megawatt-Hours a Year: read more about Black Google.
Sadly, that colour palette won’t always be great for your design but what it does is alert us to the fact that there are other ways to save the world just by doing our jobs.
Got any more ideas on how to be a eco-friendly web designer? Share them.