7 Ways Your Web Hosting Company Can Help You Go Green

Green Web HostingHappy Earth Day!  While the environmental movement is most often identified with the political left, care for God’s creation has become a mainstream issue important to many Christians.  According to Catalyst  Leadership Digital Magazine (which I previewed yesterday, btw):

“90% of evangelicals (as well as 62% of mainline Protestants and 52% of Catholics) would like to see fellow Christians take a more active role in caring for creation in a biblical way.”

“45% of evangelicals report making environmentally conscious life-style changes in the past year.”

With that in mind there are a number of ways your web hosting company can help your organization take better care of God’s creation.

1) Send an eNewsletter – If your organization prints and mails a paper newsletter, consider switching to an electronic newsletter.  This will save lots of paper and ink.  If you mail your newsletters, it will save lots of postage as well.  If you think some people will resist an eNewsletter, give people the option to continue receiving the paper version.   Even if some people still opt for the paper version, you’ll still cut your paper use by half.

2) Print teasers, post stories – If you do print a weekly bulletin, program, or newsletter and believe it’s absolutely essential to continue it, you could reduce your printing needs by only putting essential information or teasers in the print form and referring people to your website for more information or the rest of the story.

3) Set-up an eStore
– If you are a local retailer, setting up ecommerce on your website not only makes good business sense, but it can help the environment as well.  It saves people a trip to your store, which cuts down on auto pollutants.

4) Opt for electronic invoices – If you receive paper invoices for web services, see if your host gives you the option for invoicing by email or automated billing.  OurChurch.com has led the way on this as we’ve been doing electronic invoices exclusively since our inception 12 years ago.

5) Chose SEO over direct mail – If you do any direct mail marketing, have you ever considered how much paper waste that generates?  And with postage and printing rates rising and response rates falling, direct mail doesn’t yield the return it used to.  Doing search engine optimization (SEO) for your website so it rankings in the top 10 for your targeted keywords, can bring better results and is 100% environmentally friendly.

6) Get a new website instead of a Yellow Pages ad – An estimated 540 million phone books weighing on average 3.62 points are printed every year.  That’s nearly 1 million tons of paper.  It takes 24 million trees and 380 million gallons of oil to produce all those phone books.  What’s worse is that most people hardly ever use them anymore.  Most people search online instead of searching the Yellow Pages.  If you have purchased ads in the Yellow Pages in the past, consider investing that money in a new website, which requires no trees or oil to produce and will probably give you a better return on your investment.

7) Choose a green hosting company – When looking for a web hosting company usually things like cost, disk space, and customer service ratings are a top the list of criteria, but have you considered how green your web host is?  Some web hosting companies use renewable energy.  Others allow their staff to work telecommute.  In fact, we estimate that OurChurch.Com prevents about 50,000 pounds of CO2 emissions each year by allowing our staff to work from home offices.

The great thing about theses options is that most of them will not only help save the environment but they’ll also help save you money.

What are you thoughts on these green options?  Got any other ways your website or web hosting company can help you go green?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

2 Responses to “7 Ways Your Web Hosting Company Can Help You Go Green”

  1. Think green and SAVE money, I enjoyed your post. Thank you

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