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Websites Are Threatening The Planet: How It Hurts

Websites have become a part of our everyday lives. They are used for business, entertainment, and even research. But what most people don’t know is how much environmental impact websites actually have. Let’s take a look at website sustainability and how companies can work to reduce their digital carbon footprint.

The internet is one of the biggest reasons why our planet has become so polluted. Because we’re constantly updating social media, reading news articles and watching cat videos on YouTube, our global carbon footprint has increased dramatically over the years. This speed of technological progress isn’t sustainable, and we need to find a way to continue using the internet without harming the environment.

How Much Carbon Do Websites Produce?

server killing the planet

The average website produces 4.61g of CO2 with each page visit, thanks to power-hungry servers storing the content. Luckily, a more sustainable future won’t come at the expense of websites. While websites hosted on a local server have high carbon emissions, major IT companies are making the switch to data centres that are run on 100% renewable energy. That’s what we like to hear!

There are many ways to discover how much carbon your website produces. Visiting https://www.websitecarbon.com/ is a quick and easy way to check your business’s digital carbon footprint. You simply type in your website URL and then press calculate. It’ll only take a few seconds to come up with your stats.

When we tested ours, we found that our website was cleaner than 77% of other web pages! You also get stats about how much CO2 is produced every time someone visits and what kind of energy your site runs on. We also discovered that we would need to plant 2 trees per year to offset our websites carbon footprint, which is definitely something to consider! The weight of our carbon production is also equal to 0.28 sumo wrestlers, but we’re really not sure what to do with this knowledge…

How To Make Your Website More Sustainable

renewable energy for websites

Anyway, once you’ve inputted your information and know where you’re at, you can start working on reducing your impact by:

  1. Investing in a green website host. This way, you can reduce the amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere and create a website with less of an impact on the planet.
  2. Minimising unnecessary content or adverts from websites to limit how much bandwidth it’s using.
  3. Regularly updating websites and not overusing images or videos which add to its energy consumption.

At YUMYUM, we use WP Engine to host our own and our client’s websites. This is stored on the Google Cloud Platform, which is currently run on 100% renewable energy and is 2x more efficient than a typical data centre.

WP Engine isn’t the only eco-friendly website host. There are plenty of others for you to choose from. Some other high-quality website hosting providers, which run on green energy, to look into include:

Sustainability as a Core Value

sustainable website design

If you’re looking to redesign your existing website or launch a brand new website, sustainability should be top of your requirement list. When you approach a new web designer, ask them which hosting provider they use and if they run on renewable energy. This will be especially important if sustainability is one of your brand’s core values.

If your business prides itself on being sustainable, this needs to come through in every aspect of the daily operations. It’s not enough to do the bare minimum if you’re promising your customers a certain standard. A website is such a huge part of your business, so its sustainability should be a major consideration.

Not only will you be damaging the environment, but brands that claim to be sustainable, yet don’t act on it, will lose brand integrity. In your customer’s eyes, the brand’s meaning and value will have been diminished, making you seem untrustworthy. The last thing you want to do is damage your business reputation over something so simple.

Whether it’s part of your core values or not, if every website were to swap to a sustainable hosting provider,  we could prevent the use of over 300 million pounds of coal a year. That’s like immediately taking 35,000 cars off the road. Sustainability starts on your website, so don’t be afraid to drive change!

Well, there you go, you have a bit of a double whammy of motivation there. Without a sustainable website, you’ll not only be killing the planet but your reputation too. There’s a whole lot at stake here, so make your positive impact today!

websites fossil fuels

But please do remember, a website is just one piece of the digital puzzle. Everything we do in our day-to-day lives has a footprint on the planet, and it’s up to us all to make ours as minimal as possible. What green living swap are you going to make?


Why not start a chat with our team today about designing and maintaining a sustainable website for your brand? Fill out a contact form or give us a ring on 01604 879 776.