Is Your Website Climate-Friendly?
Hello Friends 👋
Did you know that websites have carbon footprints?
OMG… Seems a terrific question, right?
But… It makes sense if you think about it. Every time you visit a site, you are making a request to a server for data. Each server takes some amount of energy to send that content back to you. Thus, every time you visit a website, a small amount of carbon dioxide is created. This may not seem like a huge deal, but think about how many people visit any number of websites daily.
This wasn't something I was aware of until I was reading about how Plausible, my analytics provider, differs from other tools. One of the things that caught my attention was a section called 'How much electricity does my website consume?'. It provided a link to the Website Carbon Calculator that calculates your site's CO2 emissions per visitor visit. Out of sheer curiosity, I took a look at it.
Testing The CO2 Emissions For My Website
I first tested my website with Website Carbon Calculator and I had no idea what to expect from it. I knew my website was fast and scored pretty well on Google. I thought its carbon footprint wouldn't be too bad.
The results were not what I was expecting. Each visitor to my website would generate about 0.93 grams of CO2 per visit. This is dirtier than 70% of the sites tested on Website Carbon Calculator!
Yes, Websites Have a Carbon Footprint!
The internet consumes a lot of electricity. 416.2TWh per year to be precise. To give you some perspective, that's more than the entire United Kingdom.
From data centers to transmission networks to the billions of connected devices that we hold in our hands, it is all consuming electricity, and in turn, producing carbon emissions equal to or greater than the global aviation industry. Yikes!
Website Carbon Calculator has developed the first methodology for calculating the carbon emissions attributed to a website and this free website carbon calculator is here to help raise awareness and inspire a more sustainable internet
Next Steps For Me
Climate change is one of the greatest crises humanity has ever faced. Whether we realize it or not, we all play a part in helping combat it. I know sometimes our actions feel very small, but they can have a tremendous impact.
I have already started to find an optimized solution for my website's CO2 emissions. I will obviously keep you posted once the solution is implemented :-)
It can hard to know where and how you can make a difference. I recycle everything I can, turn off lights when not in use, and don't drive unless I need to. These are all little things I can do to help reduce my carbon footprint. And I now have another way I can cut my footprint down further through my work. Developers are in a unique position where we can create anything out of nothing. With a computer, we can have an incredible impact on those around us. Why not have a positive impact on the environment as well?
To get started making your site more climate-friendly, head over to the Website Carbon Calculator. There, you can test your site and get suggestions on how you can reduce your site's carbon footprint.
If you want to share anything or have any suggestions/questions, please leave them in the comments!
That’s it for today :-)
Hope each of you has a great start to your day. I’ll talk to everyone tomorrow.
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