Are Energy Efficient Websites The Future And Does Anyone Care?

As the search for green technology development and technological waste solutions are on the rise, humans are finding ways to incorporate energy efficient solutions in all aspects of their lives.  The internet continues to grow in addition to the ways that humans are using the internet to communicate and store information, which all requires energy and space.  As emails, pictures, video and audio files are uploaded and forgotten about, the amount of digital waste continues to grow as well.

So much of what we do on a daily basis online, requires storage and energy, yet we don’t really think about it. Web services have provided ease for uploading and storage, which means there are most likely landfills of old servers, hard drives, tapes, CD’s and other storage devices.

What about websites? They use energy too. A media company called Heap Media created Blackle, an energy efficient search engine powered by Google Custom Search.  The website conserves energy by having an all black background.  Monitors require more energy to display light colored backgrounds as opposed to dark colored backgrounds. When the user searches for items in the search engine, results are still displayed in black, with white text, until the user clicks on the link for the website, which will take them to the original web page in whatever color it might be.

Blackle was developed in response to a blog post stating that a Black Google would save 750 Megawatt-hours a year. Though the results may be small and insignificant to some, Heap Media believes that it is one small step toward greater energy saving results.  The more people use Blackle, the more energy it will save.

After looking at Blackle, I began searching for other energy saving websites. Surprisingly in my quick search, I did not find any claiming to be energy efficient other than Blackle.  Maybe it’s because there are a lot of websites that are mostly black and are already saving energy, without even trying. Or perhaps it’s because there’s just no way to measure the amount of energy being saved, and therefore measuring monetary savings.

As the internet evolves, it only makes sense that computer and overall internet use will continue to increase.  As data storage and cloud computing becomes an increasing issue, it only seems natural that web designers would be thinking about energy efficiency as a selling point for clients with their designs.  Perhaps we will see this in the future?

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One response to “Are Energy Efficient Websites The Future And Does Anyone Care?”

  1. fairoutsourcing says :

    I applaud you for lifting up this vitally important issue. According to a Gartner study, in 2007, for the first time in history, the carbon emissions due to information and communication technologies exceeded that of the entire aviation industry.
    However I do take issue with the idea that darker colors are more energy efficient. While old CRT monitors used to use more energy when displaying light colors, today’s LCD monitors use more energy to display darker ones. So the future of energy efficient websites appears to be brighter rather than darker.
    I have recently launched a website development company that has building green websites as one of its main goals. http://www.fairoutsourcing.org/
    Thanks again for raising energy efficiency on the internet as the wave of the future!

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