Is your website sustainable? (Looking at you Squarespace!)
Being green and sustainable online is a great way to help the environment. Keep reading to find out more, number three will not shock you!
Businesses around the world are recognising the importance of going green, it keeps Gen Z happy and is essential for the survival of our planet. While there are obvious solutions regarding how to make physical companies more sustainable, like swapping to reusable straws in your canteen or investing your profits into wind turbines instead of opening another oil rig, staying green on the internet isn’t as easy. If you run an online business, I have some groovy tips that can help you go from an energy-guzzling-NFC-buyer to a groovy-green-Goddess. These tips have been written for anyone selling physical items, correcting assignments, or selling services online.
1. Are your servers sustainable?
The simplest way to start running a greener website is to use green servers and green web hosting. When hosting a website online many will use the heavily marketed Squarespace, “the all-in-one solution for anyone looking to create a beautiful website”. However, they have very minimal information online regarding how green their servers are. In 2021 it is unacceptable for a company not to have a sustainability or environmental policy. Not to mention, it’s embarrassing. When using a web server make certain that it runs on sustainable energy sources and uses best sustainability practices. Your most important requirement when setting up a website is that it should be engaging in Green Hosting.
2. Do you still send physical pieces of mail?
It should be obvious but to many companies selling online, they just haven’t gotten the hang of it yet. If you are sending clients invoices and receipts via email, you do not need to send them several pieces of physical paper with their order number, their receipt, and a thank you note. At the very least, you should give them the option of opting-out. Every company I have ordered from during the pandemic has included a physical receipt with each of my deliveries, I wish there was a way to opt-out of this. If you’re online, try opting for a “paper-less” experience. The trees will thank you. Not to mention it will help lower your costs as your company will save on printer ink and paper.
3. If that zoom call could have been an email, make it one.
“Just ask yourself a simple question- could this be an email?”
There is an environmental cost to zoom meetings. When you stream videos online it requires a certain amount of electricity and a bit like everyone using incandescent light bulbs, it all adds up. If you have to zoom a colleague for a meeting or a client to check in on something, just ask yourself a simple question- could this be an email? There are other benefits to not having back-to-back zoom call meetings every day, but I won’t be addressing that in this blog post.
4. If you’re selling something physical online, then be descriptive to be sustainable!
Any company that is selling something physical will tell you that a certain amount of their products will be returned and the blame is often placed on the consumer. They are indecisive and enjoy spending needless amounts of money on items they don’t want. Ah, to live the life of a consumer… Sellers, however, need to be aware that some of the blame is on them as well. Whatever you are selling online, be descriptive. Let buyers know the dimensions, take accurate photos, describe the composition of the item. The more information you provide, the less likely the customer is to return it due to inaccurate information. Provide a review section for your customers as well, they will describe the items too. In addition, it creates a great source of information for your brand as well.
These have been my four fun tips on how to be green online. Feel free to leave any comments below letting me know how you stay green online or let me know what your favourite emoji is, both are good with me. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic check out the Wikipedia page on “green hosting” or look at the peer-reviewed academic article I have listed below. Happy Reading!
Karyotakis, M.A. and Antonopoulos, N., 2021. Web Communication: A Content Analysis of Green Hosting Companies. Sustainability, 13(2), p.495.