Green Hosting, Earth friendly, or Just for Show

Today I went to Burger King. Probable not the place to be while I work on recovering a 6 pack stomach I lost from 10 years of long hours in a chair. But I wanted some French Fries, and it had been weeks since I last visited BK so I think I deserve a little slack. In front of me was a guy that ordered 2 Quad Stackers, 1 large fry, 1 large onion ring, and he asked for the a large diet Coke. The single drink did not clue me into the fact this was all his meal til I saw him sitting by himself. By the time I got a medium Coke and Large fry, the guy was sitting at a bench working on his second burger from his 3000 calorie meal.

This is pretty much is what I see of buying energy credits, planting a tree, or / and claims of buying more efficient servers. Its no better then buying the King sized diet Coke that is some how supposed to balance out all those calories from the meal. Never mind the diet Coke is not going to reduce calories. I suppose you could think of it as there being less calories then that of a non-diet drink. But there is still a huge amount of calories that will have to be worked off. Going green means a total change in habits.

You see a lot of webhosts out there stating they are going green. I am not one to have a problem with environmentally friendly practices. I freely admit to being a tree huger. I get a tree every year on Earth Day, in addition to something else. I try to go bigger then previous years. Last year for Earth Day I started a composter, and about to do a second one so I can cycle out ever year. Which means no more landscape plant trimmings and food being thrown away in addition I don’t have to buy fertilizer. Between the composter and the recycling bin my trash bin gets put to the curb once a month. This year for Earth Day I switched from florescent to led lighting. I tend to do my most major changes during Earth Day, yet I also do other changes through the year. Back in December I bought myself a Kindle right after I sold one of my Hosting companies, 85 books later I have to wonder how many trees did not have to die to provide me reading material. Then there are the cloth bags I got so I don’t have to use plastic, I eat organic food, I love to bike, I could go on and on , on how I try to live a green life style. Granted these chances were costly in the beginning but the changes end up saving me money over the long run. I spent over $1000 on LED LIGHT, but in the end they will save me money on energy costs two fold both in cost of lighting, and less heat generated for my air conditioner to compensate for, a great thing when you live in the Sonoran Desert. Not to mention they have a longer life span then my florescent lights. Then there is nothing like getting a new book for practically 1/3 the cost of its hard back counter part.

Most of the webhosts I looked at seem to focus on only one or two aspect(s) of going “green”. They either plant a tree per customer, or for that matter buy green energy credits, use more energy efficient servers. There is no company wide goal to truly be a green hosting company.

Why not?

Car pooling
LED lighting
recycling trash
recycling computers and servers
solar panels
installing vampire surge protectors

………… and lots of stuff I am sure I missed. is one of the sites that buys energy credits, for that matter they claim “All of our shared and reseller servers are now 130% wind powered!. Considering their servers are located with ThePlant I wondered how that is possible.

Network Whois record

Queried with ““…

OrgName: Internet Services, Inc. 
OrgID:      TPCM
Address:    315 Capitol
Address:    Suite 205
City:       Houston
StateProv:  TX
PostalCode: 77002
Country:    US

ReferralServer: rwhois://

I am curious to know how they determine their power usage. Though I guess they could just off servers. But what about the equipment that gets the servers online?

Then there is the claim of servers running 35% more efficient. I don’t see anything on the blog or forms about a switch on equipment, or for that matter anything about Earth Day. I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and interrupt this to mean that they started using these servers on all new accounts, perhaps even a slow migration to avoid interruption in customer service.

Though it is worth noting that the author of their blog post:

Has a website on a domain that will expire tomorrow (June 23, 2010):

Buying green energy is a start, buying more efficient servers even better, but also only a start.

I see nothing in regards to recycling, or for that matter what happens to the servers once they are no longer fit to house clients.

FatCow States:

We’re Green!

And our prizes are too! All FatCow datacenters and offices are run by 100% wind energy. Well okay, we don’t have a wind turbine on top of our buildings, but we do purchase Renewable Energy Credits to offset 100% of our power use!

Keep in mind FatCow is part of The Endurance International Group, Inc. This includes servral other hosting companies such as ipage and ipower. mentions nothing about green power. However ipower does . I am not sure why The Endurance International Group, Inc does not have all their 33 + companies listed as green companies.

Greenville Host Guarantees:

  • 200% green with certified wind energy credits
  • State of the art, energy efficient data center

Wind Energy Facts:

In 2009, wind energy supplied an estimated 73 billion kilowatt-hours or enough energy to power 7 million U.S. homes. Web hosting datacenters are responsible for 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Each megawatt of wind produced electricity translates into an economic impact of $1 million. Wind energy has the potential to reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 1/3 in the near future.

A few points of interest on Greenville

Network Whois record

Queried with “!NET-204-93-163-0-1“…

Address:    5005 Newport Dr.
Address:    Suite 503
City:       Rolling Meadows
StateProv:  IL
PostalCode: 60008
Country:    US
RegDate:    2010-03-08
Updated:    2010-03-08 (greenville’s data center) does not show case the “State of the art, energy efficient data center”

The interesting thing is the % on how much data centers changes a lot between hosts. With FatCow it was 1% with another company I looked at it was 15%, then its 8%. I would love to see the real percentage for this. Not to mention the energy credits cost more then actually energy. Something else that is going to cut into that fee that customers pay for their hosting. On the plus side it helps encourage environmentally friendly energy. On the negative that even more money that’s being diverted from customer service.