Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Reflections On Earth Hour

DSC09404Earth Hour this year is on 29 March 2014. It’s observed from 8:30pm to 9:30pm, local time, wherever you are. In Singapore, it’s just about starting now. Individuals and organisations are encouraged to switch-off non-essential lighting during Earth Hour as a symbol of their commitment to our planet. Some websites observe Earth Hour by rendering their webpages on a black background, a virtual symbolism of switching off the lights.

I did the black background thing some years ago. I shan’t do it this year. Instead, I’ll like to share about green web hosting. If you host a website somewhere, consider doing it with a provider which cares for our environment. It used to be more costly in direct monetary terms to go green, but these days, there are green hosting providers that offer really competitive plans even when compared with non-green counterparts. They are making a brave move in order to be responsible to our environment.

This website, ZitSeng.Com, officially moved to GreenGeeks on 1 Feb 2014. Recently, due to wanting IPv6 accessibility for my website, I’ve moved again to DreamHost. They are also a carbon-neutral hosting provider, through Renewable Energy Credits and Emission Reduction Credits.

Green hosting providers typically don’t run directly on renewable energy sources like wind or solar power. There are exceptions like AISO.net, which literally powers their data centre from solar energy, only depending on the utility grid as a backup. Most other providers go the route of buying green energy credits to offset their electricity consumption of the regular utility grid. Providers are also motivated to reduce their electricity consumption, in order to lessen the overhead burden of purchasing green energy credits.

As customers, we do our part by signalling to providers what’s important to us. Providers, in turn, will be motivated to go green if they learn that a significant number of potential customers only want to patronise companies who care about our environment. Providers, definitely will sit up and pay attention, if they learn their businesses could potentially be impacted by their indifference to caring for our environment.

These days, with electricity costs soaring to record breaking levels, investing in more energy efficiency already makes money sense for many of us consumers. For example, you’d want more energy efficient air-conditioners, refrigerators, and other heavy energy consumption appliances. I’m sure some of us already take these factors into consideration.

Moving on, we should also consider the businesses we patronise. It’s a small step, but we have the power to vote with our wallets. Earth Hour is but just a symbolic one hour observation. Make saving the Earth a part of our lives.

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