How Your Website Could Be Contributing to the Climate Crisis

Posted By Josie Moran17/06/21

We are living in a world where the internet is always at our fingertips. With just one touch of a button, we can send messages and share pictures with people around the globe. Even download music and videos and have any product or service you want at the click of a button. However, it turns out that this everyday convenience comes with consequences. For both ourselves and nature, which may not be immediately apparent or anticipated by many users. But the climate needs consideration, and urgently.  

The climate crisis will affect all of us, so what changes can be made when it comes to the internet?

Approximately 4.1 billion people, or 53.6% of the global population, now use the internet. According to some estimates, the carbon footprint of gadgets, the internet, and systems supporting them account for about 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions. Each person is responsible for 414kg (912lbs) of carbon dioxide (CO2e) a year. Data centres and servers needed to support the internet are also energy-intensive. Some people in developed countries will have a disproportionately large carbon footprint.

The Internet Is Power Hungry– Can The Climate Keep Up?

It is a known fact that our online activities are having a direct impact on climate change. It is expected that communications tech will emit more carbon by 2025 than any country. Except for China, India, and the U.S- meaning if the internet were a country, it would be the 4th biggest consumer of electricity on the planet. And consuming 20% of all the electricity produced worldwide! 

Why does this matter? We are at a crossroads like no other time in history. Global warming is expected to create problems with every aspect of everyday life. From human health issues, food security issues, sea levels to rise further and a whole host of other issues. 

Plastic pollution is a focus for many, but emissions affect the climate too

How Environmentally Friendly Is Your Website?

The Code & Create homepage generates about 41.36kg of CO2 for every 10,000 clicks, give or take, and our website is cleaner than over 77% of web pages tested using websitecarbon.com. If our homepage generated 10,000 clicks per year, we produce enough CO2 to make boiling water for 5,605 cups of tea. Or as much CO2 as 2 trees soak up in a year. 

Traditionally websites that run on content management systems tend to be less climate-friendly. This is because they use more resources, which means more electricity consumption. This does not mean that only CMS websites have an impact. Poorly designed websites with excess bloat or just misdesign can also contribute to the resources needed to host and run the website. 

What Is Sustainable Web Design? 

Sustainable web design is the process of delivering digital products that respect the planet and the people who use them. Sustainable web design is about creating the same digital experience but lowering the carbon footprint of every interaction and process that is needed to keep your website working as it needs to. 

Here at Code & Create, we have eco-friendly website design practices. We can create clean code, fast loading and sustainable websites. That also deliver results for your business and have less of an impact on the environment. We also use data centres that use green energy. Which aids with reducing greenhouse gasses produced by using electricity produced by burning fossil fuels. 

“…the 416.2 terawatt-hours of electricity the world’s data centres used in 2015 was significantly higher than the UK’s total consumption of about 300 terawatt-hours.”

Source: The Independent

We need more green tech fingers, so to speak!
How You Can Make Your Website More Eco Friendly 

Three main factors are needed to make your website more eco friendly, and they are:

  • Clean code
  • Easy to navigate 
  • Reduced file sizes

All three of these things make your website less resource-heavy. It will load faster and if it is easy to navigate it prevents multiple pages from needing to be loaded in order to find what people are looking for. An extreme example of this- clickbait websites. They need you to click through multiple pages to find what you are looking for, some in excess of 20-30 pages! All of them loading code-intensive ads and images – which will use ALOT of electricity every time a new page is loaded. Now multiply that by how many users are using the site and it is a big footprint for one site to create. 

Keeping your code clean and using smaller image files means fewer resources are needed to load the pages in question, thus reducing the carbon footprint created. You can also take this one step further as we have here at Code & Create! And instead, host your website on Green Hosting which only uses eco-friendly electricity providers and also as we have done plant a grove! 

More than anything, it needs to be a team effort. We’re in this together.

If you need any advice on Eco-Friendly and sustainable website design and hosting services… Reach out to us here at Code & Create where we will be only too happy to help!