How to Find Green Web Hosting?
Using a green web hosting provider is a great way for webmasters to help the planet.
Wind and solar web hosts offer affordable hosting with green benefits and competitive prices. Read below to learn more about eco-friendly hosting.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Greenest Web Host of All?
Web hosting is an energy-intensive business. Hosting providers burn a lot of energy powering dozens, hundreds or thousands of web servers that run day and night.
But some companies are working on greening the web.
Below are several eco-friendly hosting providers that all power their plans with renewable energy.
But how to choose? I’ve included information not only about their hosting plans, but also about other initiatives these companies are taking to make the world a better place as well as giving you the tools you need to host your domains and websites without hurting the environment.
So get ready, get set, go green!
HostGator: 130% Wind-Powered Hosting
I’ve been using HostGator for about two years and had just started shopping around for a new, greener host when I was building this website. I’d always been happy with HostGator, but had decided I needed to go green. So I started shopping around.
I’ve always liked them because they have good service, great prices, you can host multiple domains on one plan for very little, and I’ve never, ever had a problem with my sites going down.
They also offer cpanel (which is much easier to use than the panels for some other companies I won’t name!).
When it comes to their green rating, HostGator buys Green-e certified wind RECs to power and cool their servers, and they go above and beyond the typical 100% offset.
They actually buy enough credits to offset 130% of the heating and cooling for their shared and reseller servers. It’s just another reason I like them.
Plans at HostGator start at $4.95 a month for one domain, but I think the best value is the unlimited domain plan that starts at $7.95 a month with unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space.
They also offer a lot of great features such as cPanel, instant installation of popular programs such as WordPress, and advertising credits for Google AdWords and other cpc advertising programs.
In addition, if you’re moving from another host, they’ll transfer everything for free.
I’ve had very good luck with this company and can honestly give them two thumbs up.
Use coupon code SQUIDGATOR to get $9.94 off the package price when you sign up with HostGator.
Like HostGator, Green Geeks purchases green energy credits to offset their carbon emissions, but they go beyond other hosting companies by offsetting 300% of their power with wind energy credits.
They’re certified by Green Tags and are an official EPA Green Power Partner.
In addition to purchasing wind energy credits, Green Geeks configures all of their servers to consume less power, uses automatic lighting controls to ensure lights aren’t left on needlessly, promotes recycling in their offices, limits printing to essential documents to conserve paper, and has an office tradition where employees take turns bringing in home-cooked meals to share at lunch time to cut down on trash typically associated with take-out orders or quick microwave meals.
They also encourage telecommuting to cut down on gas consumption and auto emissions from commuting.
Plans start at $6.95/month and include unlimited domains, unlimited web space, unlimited bandwidth, free site transfers and a free domain for life. This is a great deal and one of my top picks in this list of hosting reviews.
One computer server has about the same impact on our climate as an SUV that gets 15 mpg.
HostPapa: 100% Certified Green Hosting
Carbon-neutral hosting for multiple domains.
HostPapa’s green hosting is achieved through “purchasing 100% green renewable energy to power our data center, web servers, office computers, laptops and office space.”
Their credits are Green-e certified.
Plans start at $4.95/month if you sign up for three years. Package includes unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, a free domain name for life, unlimited domains on one plan and other features.
Like HostGator, they also offer cpanel, popular scripts such as WordPress, and a variety of advertising credits.
Sign up now at HostPapa.
AISO: 100% Solar Energy Web Host
Green web hosting provider has solar panels on data center and office.
AISO (Affordable Internet Services Online) is about as green as a web hosting provider can get.
They run both their data center and office with energy from solar panels on the roof, have foot-thick ecofriendly insulation in the building walls to minimize the use of heating and air conditioning, and use solar tubes and windows to bring in natural light during the day rather than wasting energy on lighting.
As a result of these and other efforts, they are the first (and currently only public data center) that is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. They were also named to Inc. Magazine’s list of Top 50 Green Companies.
If that weren’t enough, AISO is also a member of Co-Op America, an EPA Green Power Partner, and the web hosting provider for Live Earth.
Their Windows or Linux hosting plans start at $9.95/month for 500 MB of space, 5 GB of monthly data transfer, PHP5, CGI/Perl, ASP, and other features. These are extras you just cant get with any free blogging platforms.
Sign up now for AISO hosting.
Hostinger: 100% Certified Green Web Hosting
Environmentally friendly company also plants a tree with each new sign-up.
Hostinger offers affordable green hosting with carbon neutral hosting plans powered by 100% Green-e certified renewable sun and wind energy.
In addition, as part of its commitment to social responsibility, the company partners with Trees for the Future to plant a tree for each new customer and offers free and discounted hosting to nonprofit organizations.
The company also allows most of its team members to telecommute, uses little paper, and encourages the use of notebook computers to conserve electricity.
Hostinger is a member of Co-op America.
Plans start at $2.95/month for 100 GB space, 1000 GB transfer, unlimited add-on domains, unlimited POP3 email accounts, PHP 4, Perl 5, Ruby on Rails, FastCGI and other features. Sign up now at Hostinger and use my Hostinger Promo Code for extra discounts!
DreamHost: A Carbon-Neutral Web Hosting Provider
Offset credits are certified by Green-e.
DreamHost is a carbon-neutral web host that purchases Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) and emission reduction credits to offset their emissions.
The company also practices common sense green business by doing such thing as “turning off the lights, reducing travel, and printing on both sides of the page.” These are similar to SiteGround review I published previously.
In addition, DreamHost promotes charity. Every few months, they select nonprofit organizations to promote and invites users to donate by simply clicking a button. The donation is then added to the hosting bill and DreamHost matches the donation.
Affordable hosting packages start at $5.95/month for 500 GB storage, 5 TB of monthly bandwidth, unlimited MySQL databases, a free domain name. Multiple domain hosting is unlimited. Also offers dedicated hosting.
Sign up now with DreamHost now and enter promo code GREENSQUID to save $50.
3-4% of all electricity in the world is used to run data centers.
Acorn Host: A Woman-Owned Earth-Friendly Hosting Company
Acorn Host provides carbon neutral green web hosting by purchasing green tags equaling the energy consumed by their servers, lights, and office equipment.
They support socially minded organizations by offering a professional-level hosting package for only $3.95/month, and organizations do not need to have official 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. Rather, they need to meet three criteria:
– be a non-profit, social service agency, or school
– serve the public good
– unable to afford regular web hosting rates
Acorn Host is a member of Co-op America, and is a woman-owned web hosting business.
Plans start at $7.95/month for 2GB space, 50 GB bandwidth, unlimited add-on domains and subdomains, PHP4 and 5, and other features.
Sign up at Acorn Host.
What Are Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)?
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), also known as Green tags, Renewable Energy Credits, or Tradable Renewable Certificates (TRCs), are tradable environmental commodities that represent proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource.
These certificates can be sold and traded, so customers can buy green certificates whether or not they have access to green power through their local utility or a competitive electricity marketer.
And they can purchase green certificates without having to switch electricity suppliers.
In states with REC programs, a green energy provider (such as a wind farm) is credited with one REC for every 1,000 kWh or 1 MWh of electricity it produces (for reference, an average residential customer consumes about 800 kWh in a month).
A certifying agency gives each REC a unique identification number to make sure it doesn’t get double-counted. The green energy is then fed into the electrical grid (by mandate), and the accompanying REC can then be sold on the open market.
Sources: US Department of Energy, Wikipedia
What is Green-e Certification?
Many of the hosting providers above purchase RECs certified by Green-e. So who is Green-e? Green-e is the leading voluntary certification program for renewable energy.
The program sets consumer protection standards for energy products, and verifies, or certifies that these products meet those standards and don’t get double-counted.
According to Green-e.org, the programs’s goals are to:
- Bolster customer confidence in the reliability of retail electricity products reflecting renewable energy generation.
- Expand the retail market for electricity products incorporating renewable energy, including expanding the demand for new renewable energy generation.
- Provide customers clear information about retail “green” electricity products to enable them to make informed purchasing decisions.
- Encourage the deployment of electricity products that minimize air pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.