green computing

From IndieWeb

Green Computing is practice of using computers and their resources in environmentally responsible way. Community members may try to use renewable energy, recycled computers, owning rather than streaming media, and creating websites with smaller page loads .

How to

Reduce website energy usage

Article(s) providing incremental tips for improving your website energy efficiency (and thus reducing its carbon footprint)

  • 2019-03-11 Digital guide to low tech A deep-dive into how to create a low-tech website.
    • "Therefore the whole site and server services has been thought over and the average page size has been reduced to 450,56kb (Low tech, High future)."

Purchase when you need to

Only purchase a new computing device when you need to. Purchasing a new computer every year will let you stay up to date on the latest specifications but it will also produce a carbon footprint.

It's better to keep a device until that device is no longer usable.

IndieWeb Examples

    • I'm in a catch-22, I could build the low-tech website server, but my isp needs me to have a business plan to host anything on my connection and I would still need a CDN.
    • I have a group of projects in the pipeline that will create large amounts of data, that need to be processed and the pay-as-you-go for cloud computing resources sound very attractive. Cloud computing is looking less and less value for money and running my own homelab is looking more attractive. - tomasparks
  • Jacky Alciné
    • Uses a Call to Action on his website to encourage the consumption of less meat.
    • The ecosystems of the world are dying. Reduce your :pig::chicken: meat and :cow::goat: dairy intake to help the environment :seedling:

  • Amy Guy
    • only uses second hand computer parts and posts equipment needs from her website.
  • Lewis Cowles
    • website reports 98% cleaner than other sites on the web using just 0.01g of carbon according to websitecarbon
    • practices meat free days
    • Works on low-power SBC devices, some second hand devices, and tries to limit paper usage
  • capjamesg
    • Website was designed to use as few resources as possible. I compress images before they are uploaded and I use images sparingly on the site. I have spent extensive time removing redundant styles on the style sheet. At one point, my site had no favicon to reduce the number of requests that had to be made for my site to load.
    • Features a "Reduce, reuse, recycle" notice in the footer of the site.
    • Is using a six-year old Macbook for his work and for personal use. He does not want to buy another computer until his existing one is no longer working.

Other Examples


web hosting:


  • Katapult a British Cloud provider that runs on 100% renewable energy; same parent company as Krystal.

Amazon Web Services:



Amazon, Google, Microsoft





  1. While looking for a new website host check their Sustainability policy.
  2. Using a static_site_generator as most web hosts have better deals because they don't need to charge for databases.
  3. Setup a tool like fail2ban to monitor access logs, detect signs of wasteful traffic, and act by blocking the source IP on the firewall. Traffic from that source no longer reaches the web-server, avoiding the need to send so much as a 404 page. Traffic considered wasteful including but not limited to bots of ill repute, malicious log-in attempts, and scripts scanning for backups and similar left in the public web root in error.
    • Bonus: Apply the firewall rule at a lower level of the network stack, e.g. on the infrastructure provider's edge firewall, using an API.
  4. Use a static_site so that each page does not need to be dynamically rendered
  5. Use algorithms like dithering (see Low Tech Magazine) to reduce the size of images
  6. Remove or reduce the amount of JavaScript on a page

Performance and green computing

There is a significant correlation between the performance of a website and green computing.

Many green computing efforts aim to reduce the impact of a website on the environment. This inevitably involves making a website do more with less.

This could mean using fewer images on a site, rendering web safe fonts instead of assets from a font repository like Google Fonts, or taking other steps to make your site smaller.

These changes would all make a site load faster. Both green computing and performance can be considered in the same context but a separation of concerns may be useful.

Performance enhancements refer to all of the changes made to optimize a site. Green computing measures are those taken specifically to reduce environmental impact. This distinction becomes more necessary if you want to justify the reasoning behind a change on your site. (i.e. you may change a blog post structure because it is too cluttered, or because you want to save on bytes)

cloud computing

Cloud computing companies claim because they can optimize server utilization compared to on-premises computing, that they use less power. But critics like Greenpeace claim that they are still using dirty power [1]

static sites

Are static_sites the best option?



This section is a stub and needs review. Several of the answers seem suspect or without sufficient explanation/citations for their claims. Tantek Çelik 13:58, 27 May 2020 (PDT)

Q: What is the difference in carbon footprint between different CMS vs static site?

A: a CMS ( content management system) pages are created On-demand from a database, while a static site is pre-generated.

  • one major disadvantage with CMS is it can get overload which can cause the server to crash because it becomes CPU bound/Memory bound.
  • a static site is I/O bound which allows the site to host on anything including a Commodore 64[2], but don't expect large power savings by using old hardware.

Q: What is the difference in carbon footprint between playing local media and streaming media?

A: All of these places some responsibility on the listener, even if the steps they can take seem small. In an article for The Conversation published in January, Sharon George and Deirdre McKay outlined a few potentially greener methods of listening. They suggested buying a physical album may actually be more environmentally friendly if you plan to listen to it repeatedly, as 27 full streams would likely use more energy than it takes to produce and manufacture the same record. They also noted that downloading music from streaming services for offline listening could cut down on the energy it takes to get a song from the cloud to your ears - Is Streaming Music Dangerous to the Environment? One Researcher Is Sounding the Alarm

Q: How do you optimize images to reduce page weight?


When Progressive enhancement image formats become standard ( Progressive Graphics File / ICER/ Progressive texture map ) I would use them. As a stop-gap use the Responsive image tag - personal option tomasparks

Q: What is the energy difference between shared hosting and a home server?

A: I don't think we'll ever be able to answer this question because there are too many variables.

Q: What is the energy difference between distributed networks like BitTorrent, Freenet, IPFS, GnuNet?


Q: Location data can be energy-intensive? How do we optimize the collection of GPS data.

A: use Inertial measurement unit with a GPS, I don't know if you can buy GPS/INS off the shelf


IndieWebCamp sessions related to green computing:

See Also

js;dr links, these need to be re-evaluated if they're appropriate for this page or not: