In this age of green awareness, carbon offsetting -- the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through funding of clean air programs to balance pollution-causing behaviour -- has become all the rage.
In Australia, the practice has largely focused on big bad corporate entities and fuel-guzzling air travel, but a new target of eco concern has been named: the humble Web page.
Sydney company tickgreen has launched a service dedicated to helping Web site owners reduce the carbon footprint of their online offerings. Pixels on a monitor may not seem a likely target for such concerns, but tickgreen owner Bradley Hook reckons the amount of electricity consumed by Web servers is a worthy eco concern.
Tickgreen.com's FAQ sets it all out:
Websites can seem like quite abstract, ethereal entities that live 'somewhere in cyberspace', leaving some people wondering just how they can contribute to global warming. In fact, a number of factors involved in creating and running a website produce significant carbon emissions.
From the day the components of your web server (the computer on which your website resides) were made in a factory, to the day it was built, to the transportation process, to the installation in its current location - your website has been contributing to global warming. Every manufacturing process, factory, piece of packaging, ship, aeroplane and truck released greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. And that was before your site even went live!
Eep! If you're concerned that those blog posts about your adorable cat are contributing to the destruction of the ozone layer, head on over to tickgreen.com's sign-up page and ease the guilt for between AU$20 and AU$234 a year, depending on the size and popularity of your site.
Funds are used to purchase carbon credits issued by the New South Wales government, with each credit corresponding to one tonne of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere for 100 years.