Wind-Powered Web Hosting

Sep 13, 2011 by

Wind-Powered Web Hosting

When it came time to register this site, I wanted to “spend my values” in selecting a web host.

I was expecting to pay more for an eco-friendly service, but was pleasantly surprised to find this was not necessary.

I discovered Canvas Dreams while checking out the site of a recommended web designer. The catchy spinning turbines on his site—you can see them at the bottom left on my home page—earned my click-through.

Canvas Dreams was the first Web host in the Pacific Northwest to use 100% wind power, and it is committed to energy conservation. They build their own smaller, high-efficiency servers that use 60% less energy for operating and cooling than do standard models.

And the $7.50 monthly fee for my Canvas Dreams hosting plan is less than I’m paying for an “unlimited” Yahoo! hosting package for another site. It’s a great example of “right-sizing” a service for the client, instead of offering the one-size-fits-all option, where I subsidize the big eaters of bandwidth. I don’t need a Super Size meal with Xtra Large fries, I need a green salad!

Using the Internet takes energy, and not just for your personal computer. Canvas Dreams says that recent EPA studies show data centers consume 3% of all energy produced in the United States (and projections indicate this figure could triple by 2020). Wow.

Let the wind blow.

Sustainable Together TIPS

TIP: Take the time to research the more sustainable business. “Right-size” your purchase to your needs. Consider other factors than just price.

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  1. Excellent! You’ve already got me thinking about new ways to make a difference. I never thought about sustainable web hosting! Glad such a thing is becoming possible. Reminds me of the extra efforts the author of a children’s book I illustrated took to have her book published conscientiously rather than cheaply (“I am Learning All the Time” by Rain Fordyce). She did her research far and wide considering all her options and ended up choosing a local printer that used paper from certified sustainable sources, non-toxic inks, and that used wind energy for it’s electricity (which ended up being another Port Townsend local business! The Printery). The cost wasn’t as high as one might expect. She was able to produce her book for a cost that allowed her to keep the sale price in line with a fair market value. So many books are published in China now for the largest possible profit margin, but much is sacrificed…work conditions and product production standards go unchecked and unseen by the consumer, and then there is the quantity of resources used to ship the products back to the USA…It is ridiculous! We ALL have to start considering what is the true cost of our business decisions great or small. Thanks, Shelly, for helping to open our eyes to new avenues for change. I’m excited about this blog!

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Audrey, on how your author decided to use a local “green” printer after extensive research. I agree that the resources used to ship cheap products long distances must be factored into the price comparison.

      I chose to have my business cards printed locally (at SOS) for multiple reasons, but eliminating shipping time was a strong consideration. I was very pleased with the same-day turnaround!