The Environmental Impact Of Server Hosts

The Environmental Impact Of Server Hosts

The Environmental Impact Of Server Hosts

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.

Jane Goodall

The evidence is indisputable. Global warming is happening and mankind is playing a large role in speeding its effects up. The polar ice caps are melting, the sea levels are rising, more natural disasters are occurring. The list goes on and on. 

Because of this, individuals, communities and nations are taking steps to reduce their environmental footprint. Consumers are recycling. People are buying electric cars. Governments are enforcing stronger environmental regulations. But is it enough?

The scary truth is that while many people are making the effort to be more conscientious about their use of resources, there are some ways individuals unknowingly waste. One of these more hidden resource drainers are the server hosts that people connect to everyday when they surf the internet. 

The Truth Behind Data Centers

There are now roughly three million data centers across America, and all of these servers make up about 2% of total United States electricity use—roughly the equivalent of five nuclear power plants. Annually, a single server, on its own, produces more carbon dioxide than a car. Over 10 years ago, globally, data centers were consuming the equivalent of 14 coal-fired one thousand megawatt power plants. And these numbers are only going up—by 2020 web hosting will be as polluting as the airline industry. 

But it’s not just about energy use. Servers are abusing the environment in multiple ways. One of the lesser known areas of pollution comes from data center’s fire suppression efforts. Obviously these companies understand that they need to keep client’s data safe, and having extensive precautions makes sense for a business that deals so closely with high voltage. Unfortunately, the chemicals used are pretty harmful to the environment, depleting the ozone layer, getting mixed with rainwater runoff, and having a high global warming potential. 

There’s also the electronic waste that occurs. Not only does server technology and equipment have a finite lifespan, but in order to keep up with performance requirements and competitors, data centers must replace their equipment at least every five years—if not sooner. Most of this ‘junk’ goes into a landfill, sometimes through harmful offshore disposal. But worse still is the poisonous substances that much of the technological equipment contains. This can seep into groundwater and harm plants, animals and humans alike.

The Environmental Impact Of Server Hosts

But the environmental harm gets even worse. Most data centers and servers require diesel fuel. It’s not uncommon for a single data center to emit 150 thousand pounds of carbon dioxide from diesel fuel annually.

And then there’s the coolant and batteries. Coolant is required for computer room air conditioning and liquid cooling—otherwise the machines will overheat. Unfortunately, this coolant can be highly toxic—think chlorofluorocarbons and freon. Along with being toxic, they also have global warming potential by trapping heat within the atmosphere. The enormous batteries that data centers have to keep around in case of power fluctuations are lead-acid. The negative effects from these batteries bookend their lifespan, from the destructive mining that’s required to produce them to the difficulty in disposing them. 

The Benefits Of Going Green

So how can this problem be solved? We can’t stop using the internet and companies still need to rely on data centers. The only available answer is green server hosting. Green hosting, also known as eco-friendly hosting, reduces the environmental impact of internet hosting by utilizing green technologies. OrangeWebsite, an Iceland-based company that has been around for a decade, is doing just that.

Some of these green technologies that we use at OrangeWebsite include energy saving appliances, carbon offsetting, planting trees around the center, and using renewable energy. So while the average web server consumes 1,000 KWh of energy and 630 kilograms of carbon dioxide a year, we produce no carbon dioxide. This means that any business that utilizes our services is reducing their environmental footprint and the environmental footprint of their customers. 

This isn’t just a ‘good’ thing to do out of the kindness of a company’s heart. It is a wise business decision. Partnering with OrangeWebsite changes an organization’s reputation. By simply adding green credentials to their name, a business can drastically alter the way current and potential customers view them. Being environmentally conscious is an added benefit of shopping from them–one more reason to stay loyal or to move from a similar brand that isn’t quite as forward thinking. Additionally, because only the initial setup cost is high for the host, rather than the regular operational expense of buying energy from the utility company, it doesn’t cost anymore to use our services at OrangeWebsite. 

Everything we do at OrangeWebsite is run on green energy–primarily geothermal and hydropower. Businesses that choose to partner with us are provided with a green site seal so that their customers can see that they too are committed to protecting the planet.

But OrangeWebsite goes further than to just utilize the power of renewable energy. The majority of our staff works from home in order to reduce energy waste from an office and commuter traffic. Additionally, we are working to reverse any impact that we do make by planting between 250 to 1,000 trees every month. To find out how you can partner with OrangeWebsite to get excellent web hosting services, as well as  play your part in fighting global warming and environmental damage, contact us.

Orange Website Team

Mercedes Hybrid Concept car – The Cutting Edge of Energy-saving Technology

One of Mercedes Benz's hybrid cars.

The E300 is one of Mercedes Benz’s models available with a hybrid engine.

Concept cars often resemble an engineer’s most incredible daydreams – the end results are mind-blowing, dazzling, and completely unrealistic for everyday use. Although these cars seldom make it to the market for ordinary shoppers, they can still spark the development of innovative technology that can be used in more practical vehicles. New technology is crucial for the development of hybrid cars. More consumers are purchasing hybrid vehicles now that such a wide range of models are available. Options are no longer limited to tiny “clown cars” – consumers can now choose a hybrid option in nearly any size they please, including an SUV. Developing new ways to power these vehicles is essential, and Mercedes is leading the way. Their latest concept vehicle, the Vision G-Code, is an innovative masterpiece.

An article in ExtremeTech outlines the Vision G-Code’s revolutionary design. The car is blanketed in multi-voltaic paint that actually generates fuel from the wind and sun. Although it may seem unbelievable, hydrogen fuel is created by combining thin-film solar technology with wind power. The super-charged hydrogen combustion engine powers the front wheels of the vehicle, burning an energy-efficient fuel that produces only water as an emission. A conventional electric motor powers the vehicle’s back wheels.

The traditional method of generating power from wind resistance wouldn’t work well for vehicles. After all, you wouldn’t want anything on your vehicle creating resistance to wind – that would kill your gas mileage and make for a choppy ride. The engineering geniuses at Mercedes thought outside the box and found a way to apply this kind of energy generation to the vehicle without actual resistance while driving. The movement of the wind over the stationary vehicle creates a charge used for hydrogen production – a process referred to as “electrostatic wind generation.” In theory, when the Vision G-Code is stopped at a red light, the wind creates hydrogen to assist the rear-wheel batteries while the paint job absorbs solar energy for further power generation.

The necessity of the electric engine makes it clear that harnessing enough hydrogen to power the entire vehicle is still not possible. However, the electric and hydrogen engines work in harmony to create a more energy-efficient product. There are still no figures to show exactly how much fuel is produced by the multi-voltaic paint, and research needs to be done regarding its cost and durability. Even if the paint could cut electricity use by 10% per month, it would offer a reasonable ROI. As the article points out, it’s unlikely that the Vision G-Code will lead to extensive green energy-generation technology – but it could at least pave the way toward innovative energy-saving technology.

Christmas Is Near – It’s Time to Share

Christmas outlook for with snowmen wearing Christmas hats.
Christmas outlook for with snowmen wearing Christmas hats.

New outlook on our website is to remind everyone that Christmas is all about giving. Spread the holiday cheer and get involved with a charity project of your choice!

The holiday season is rapidly approaching and we have published new Christmas outlook on our website to spread the holiday cheer. Some of you may have noticed that there are new trees growing on the view of Icelandic landscape. This is because OrangeWebsite helps The Canope Project to plant new trees every month.

Christmas all about sharing and giving, therefore now it’s the best time to get involved with a charity project that you feel is important. As the old saying goes, little drops of water make the mighty ocean. I have listed some charity programs below that you could consider:

1.) World Vision Charity Gift Project

With World Vision gift project, you can give where it’s most needed. With minimum donation of $10 USD you can support the less fortunate children around the world and give them a Christmas gift of your choice.

2.) International Animal Rescue

Most of us are going to buy Christmas presents anyway. Why not to choose a present that also makes the world a better place? Internal Animal Rescue offers gifts from soft toys to virtual gifts. All profits are used for supporting projects that help animals around the world. This way your gift gets a double effect. International Animal Rescue also accepts money donations for it’s projects.

3.) Unicef Christmas Charity Gifts

Give good with Unicef inspired gift and change a child’s life. You can give gift of your choice from polio vaccines to footballs, starting from $16 USD per donation.

4.) Green Schools Campaign

Christmas time is a good time to get involved with environmental projects as well. Giving back to the earth what you take helps to keep the ecological balance. Green schools Campaign helps to build energy-efficient schools that provide children science-based environmental and civic education in the classroom.

OrangeWebsite and it’s staff is sending you warm winter wishes for an enchanted holiday season. May this wonderful time of giving bring you joy that lasts throughout the year!

Human Body: Source of Energy Like Never Before

An image of a woman with lightbulb.
An image of a woman with lightbulb.

Human body could be the next renewable energy resource if the world experienced a steep decline in global energy crisis.

We may live in a high-tech world but majority of us still rely on a rapidly diminishing supply of coals and fossil fuels – the questions of sustainability are becoming extremely urgent. How deep are we willing to mine and what sacrifices are we willing to make in the continuing quest for energy?

Israeli industrial designer Naomi Kizhner was intentionally to provoke some opinions and discussions through her project as part of her graduation at college and the answer she’d created is slightly disturbing, to say the least. Her regard sentiments and concerns are however at the right place.

How Close To The Matrix Are We?

For those who haven’t seen The Matrix, it is a science fiction movie back in those days which pictured and filmed humanity being enslaved by a race of sentient machines that are harvesting natural electricity produced by human bodies as an energy resource. It is exactly the sort of question that Kizhner wanted people around the world to seriously looking at.

Kizhner’s Energy Addicts takes a post-humanistic perspective, viewing the human body not only as a person but instead as a renewable energy resource too. These pieces would be inserted into wearer’s skin to catch involuntary movements like the flow of blood in veins, pulses and eyes blinking to produce kinetic energy then later be converted to electricity to power the light and wheel in the devices themselves. On one hand, it is a terrifying prospects like something right out of a cyberpunk dystopia where bodies are little more than cogs in the system. On the other hand to the logic side, there’s no denying that the human body is a renewable energy resource.

“There are lots of developments of renewable energy resources, but the human body is a natural resource for energy that is constantly renewed, as long as we are alive. Technologically we are not too far away from these ideas becoming a reality, but practically speaking, will we be willing to sacrifice our body in order to produce more energy? My intention is to provoke a discussion. I hope that the project will make people think about the possibility that this could be their future, and make them think about whether it is the future they want or whether we can do something different today to avoid it.” – Kizhner

Her decorative jewelleries are made of gold and 3D-printed biopolymer, each design in the collection would be worn on different parts of the body to harvest energy from specific physiological functions. Nevertheless her innovative designs are slightly seen as bizarre in some cases and are certainly not for the faint hearted.

Where Do We Draw The Line?

When pursuing the idea of renewable energy resources, it is easy to lose sight of the real issue. Instead of asking how we can produce the most energy at some possibilities, it might be more important question to ask how we can live within our means to electricity consumptions. Kizhner’s idea may not be the ultimate solution for resolving the energy crisis, but it reminds us that if we don’t take the energy situation seriously from now, we just might become the next renewable energy resource. Are we willing to wait another decade to materialize or shall we initially practice go green lifestyle from now on before it’s too late?

A Major Breakthrough on Carbon Cuts Announced by USA and China

Carbon Cuts Announced by USA and China

Deal between USA and China positively surprised people around the world.

China and the United States have made surprising announcement on cutting their greenhouse gas output. USA agreeing to reduce their emission levels 26-28% below 2005 levels by year 2025. While China, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, is committed to cap their carbon emissions 20% by year 2030.

The deal made secretly between US. president Barock Obama and president of China, Xi Jinping, was announced in public earlier today. “As the world’s two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change,” Obama stated in a joint news conference with president Xi.

The announcement has been taken positively around the world. People seem overall excited that USA has finally taken a step towards renewable energy alternatives and admitted their responsibility in reducing the emission levels. Whereas the country did not participate in Kyoto Protocol back in 2008.

We are all hoping that their plan is working as people now expect and we will see positive results within next years.