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Dreamhost goes Carbon Neutral

Published in Environment  |  1 Comment

Dreamhost Green CertificationI’ve worked on a couple of environmental focused websites such as VerdantConcepts and Greener Earth Maps. A concern has always been the benefit/environmental cost ratio of running servers 24/7 that use up power and resources. This has been a big issue in persistant worlds such as Second Life where every acre of digital world has a real-world cost due to maintaining the simulation, even if no one is there!.

Therefore, it was a happy surprise when one of the hosting companies I use (such as this blog), Dreamhost, announced they are carbon neutral. What this means is they’ve purchased certificates from a carbon offset provider. You can be carbon neutral by planting trees, using renewable energies, use carbon sequestration techniques, or the easy (yet effective) method of buying carbon offsets from an organization that will do this for you.

The internet, and computing usage, has a huge, and growing, impact on the environment. Companies create power stations just to power large internet companies and their hosting requirements. Therefore it is important to understand this impact and alleviate it through any of those means mentioned above.

In some ways, it is buying yourself the “Green” label, but in the end the effect is the same. You’re putting your money where the need is, saving the environment.

So the question you should all be asking yourselves: “Is my hosting provider carbon neutral?” If not, make them, or move to one that is.

Update: for the low-down on how carbon offsets reallythis informative-info-graphic from Salon. (thanks to Sean Gillies for being the sleuthy detective in finding this gem via Reddit).

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  1. Lupe says:

    May 24th, 2007 at 3:54 pm (#)

    What about having your web site powered by solar….AISO.Net ( is 100% solar powered, both their servers and data center are powered by onsite solar panels. And they also have a partnership with Co-Op America, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Green Building Council. Plus, they are doing more then just making sure their electricity is green. Their data center and office is green too by using environmentally friendly air conditioners, solar tubes to bring in natural light, a propane powered generator instead of diesel, VMWare virtualization to reduce their server electricity usage, 6 watt energy saving desktop computers for their employees, and soon to be LEED certified as a green data center, the only public one in North America, at least that I have found so far.