Both users of the internet and the owners of website content have an effect on the environment. Every time a user loads a webpage some carbon emissions are generated. Every webpage created by a blogger also creates some carbon waste. Thankfully there are many simple steps that every blogger can take to make their site greener.
Make a Printer Friendly Site
Even though we are living in an age where more and more people are constantly able to surf the web, there is still a large portion of the population that enjoys printing out web content to read at their leisure. An easy first step to making a site printer friendly is simply being aware that the site should be printer friendly. Is it really necessary to leave a dramatic 20 blank lines in a post? Wouldn’t 5 or 10 be enough?
If you’re a user of WordPress and haven’t decided on a theme yet, make sure to check out the “Print Preview” when test-driving different themes. Some themes can do some funky stuff when sent to the printer. WordPress users can also install one of a number of plugins that will help make their site more user friendly. These plugins include HP Blog Printing, WP-Print, and my personal favorite WordPress Print This Section. WP Print This Section allows visitors to insert a box to print only a certain section of a post. In larger posts this could greatly reduce paper waste.
Find a Green Web Host
There are a number of web hosting companies out there that are green. Some of these companies generate their own energy. Some buy carbon offsets to neutralize their effect upon the environment. There is even a web host out there that will plant a tree every month in your name if you are a customer. The cost of using a host like this is not really more more than using a less green alternative. So I would highly recommend choosing a green host.
Don’t Let Orphaned Files Linger
Every website has them: outdated pages and images that exist on the server but can’t be found by visitors. Removing these files not only helps to keep things organized, it also leads to less storage space taken up which leads to less energy needed to maintain this storage space.
Offer Green Advice
I have a hard time imagining a blog where some kind of green advice could not be offered to visitors. Even if it is just a link to a favorite green site in the blogroll there is always something that every blogger can add to to the content to help encourage people to think green.
In the past I would recommend using dark colors on your blog, because displaying dark colors was always thought to be more energy efficient than displaying light colors. However with new LCD monitors displaying white is slightly more energy efficient than black! Because of this I wouldn’t sweat what color scheme you are using for your blog, at least for energy-efficiency purposes. If you choose a palette of highlighter colors I would still recommend a reconsideration.
There are sites out there like onlineleaf.com and co2stats.com that offer a variety of ways to help bloggers go green. A quick Google search can help you to find lots of sites like these if you would like to do even more!