May The Forest Be With You: Going Green Online

You’ve been recycling for ages. You’ve cut down on plastics and gone paperless wherever you can – maybe you’ve even started biking to work. You understand how important it is to be green today, and you believe you’ve been doing your part… but there’s something you might have missed. The simple act of going online can account for upwards of 2% of greenhouse gas emissions per year. It looks like Kermit was right. It’s not easy being green after all. 

However, as your web development partner, we at Soto think there’s more we can do to help lessen the digital impact on the environment. And together, we really can make a difference.


Can going online really damage the environment?

It seems such a small, insignificant thing, going online. Maybe you thought that going online was actually
helping the environment. In many ways, it does. The single act of going paperless can have a massive positive impact. One tree, producing 10,000 sheets of paper, takes nearly 100 years to grow. And once it’s gone, the benefit of the 900kg of CO2 that a single tree can absorb over its lifetime is gone too.

But there’s a downside. The internet requires servers to hold data and power your software. Big, energy-guzzling servers. And all those servers contribute to over 1.6 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. To put it in perspective, that’s on a par with the yearly emissions of the aviation industry. 


So, is it possible to be digitally green? 

The simple answer is no, not entirely. At least not yet. But there are plenty of ways that companies, businesses, and individuals can begin to rein in their digital damage. 

We know what you’re thinking. It might seem like a bit of a contradiction. A company dedicated to enhancing your business’s online presence, committing to decreasing the carbon footprint of its digital contributions? Yet it makes perfect sense to us at Soto, and more than that, it’s our responsibility. 


Let’s get greener together!

Obviously, as WordPress web developers, we spend most of the day online. But we’ve done the research into other very effective ways we can reduce our carbon footprints, both individually and as businesses.

  • Since servers use energy to hold data, delete anything – photos, emails, screenshots, apps – that you’ll never use again (this includes cloud backups).
  • Unsubscribe from all those e-newsletters and mailing lists you don’t want.
  • Shop wisely online. Buy in bulk, opt for eco-friendly retailers, and avoid express shipping when possible.

And as a business, there are lots of choices that can help you cut the carbon:

  • Use a hosting company for your website that runs its servers on renewable energy. If this isn’t possible, use carbon-offsetting initiatives – or ask us about our sustainable hosting
  • Bring in a business-wide screensaver time limit (for example, dormant desktops can automatically go to sleep after 2 minutes).
  • Encourage internal communications to go via chat software such as Skype or Microsoft Teams.

Being digitally green isn’t just a dream, it’s an achievable goal. And just as Soto has helped over 200 clients reach their WordPress website goals, we know we can get there together. So, if you’re interested in making your business greener online, get in touch with us today.