Being Green on the Web

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When people think about going green, they often think of fuel efficient cars and reusable shopping bags. Maybe they think of carpooling to work or being sure to recycle their aluminum cans each week. However, one area that can sometimes be overlooked is the internet.

Computers and other related technology are an integrated part of American culture. However, most people do not think about all the ways in which such technology can be used to increase an eco-friendly lifestyle.

There are many things that anyone can do to help reduce waste through the power of technology, whether it be at home or at work. It is best to start small. First, consider relying on electronic files. Files are easy to transmit via email and can be backed up effectively on flash drives. If printing is necessary, use only recycled paper, perhaps even reprinting on the backside of a discarded sheet of computer paper. This can even extend to photos, which are easy to store and share online without having to print hard copies.

While using the internet and electronic files minimizes paper and ink consumption, such activities require notable energy usage. Thankfully, it is easy to manage this consumption. To start, simply turn off the computer and monitor when they are not in use. Additionally, no matter how tempting it may be, wait as long as possible to upgrade a computer, printer, or other technological device. Though newer models may have nice features, as long as the old one can get the job done, it is far greener to use the older device for longer in order to reduce the growing amount of technological waste.

Beyond a personal workspace, it is possible to start making a green shift in the business realm on a company-wide scale. For example, companies can transition from print advertising to internet options. This alternative is not only a far better choice for the planet, but can also be more effective in reaching a greater population. Companies can also pare down on hard copies, using email to provide memos and reminders to staff. These methods are extremely efficient, saving companies and employees time and money.

Two of the newest ways to be green on the web are green website hosting and soon to be .eco extensions. There are a number of website hosting providers that utilize green energy. These providers still offer the same services as standard web hosting providers, but the process is much less wasteful. The .eco movement is another powerful way to go green online. Though these extensions will not be available until later in the year, .eco extensions will be a great way for businesses, nonprofit organizations and webmasters to support environmental causes while also doing their part to make the planet a better place.

From big to small, going green on the web is an important task. Even implementing just a few of these suggestions on a daily basis can make a huge impact that will be felt for many generations to come.

About the author

Neal is an internet marketing associate involved with the Dot Eco initiative to establish the .eco top level domain. This new initiative will donate over 50% of domain registration proceeds back to fund scientific initiatives and research in climate change, ocean analysis, economic policy, and other environmentally-related areas. Follow Dot Eco or become a Fan on Facebook.

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