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Green Hosting

Three months ago we proudly launched Serving.Green, our web initiative designed to highlight the impact that the internet has on the environment, and what we can all do to reduce that impact.

Now that the dust has settled a bit, I’d like to say a few words about what we did—from a development standpoint—to make the site as efficient as we could given our design objectives. I’ll be the first to admit that even more could be done, either by sacrificing some parts of the experience or by using techniques of which I’m not yet aware, but below are a few important tips and tricks that we can all do to make our websites more efficient. If you want to reach a digital green Nirvana, this will get you on your path.

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serving green screenshot introduction

The digital information that we ravenously produce and consume seems to be free. According to one source, we are posting 2.5 million images to Instagram every minute. I am no exception; my Twitter consumption has recently peaked for a reason that I will not dispel and that has absolutely nothing to do with the U.S. election.

But, unfortunately, the digital information that we love and share is not free. Yes, there are those pesky privacy issues — the targeted (or “sponsored”) ads on Twitter and websites are sometimes ridiculously relevant to me. But, to my mind, there is an even greater and more long-term cost than the loss of individual privacy.

Data is Powered Mostly by Fossil Fuels

Every time we click, upload a file or download an app, we make use of huge data centres that are mostly powered by dirty energy. According to one journal, the Internet will soon amount to nearly 1 billion tons of CO2 annually or approximately 10% of global electricity usage.

Some projections show that the information and communications sector of our economy is in fact expected to double by 2020! All of that data coming up and down the pipes could be powered by renewable energy if we so desired.

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bonsai tree

Corporate websites are all but dead. Big, bloated, bloviating and boring, the vast majority of sites are already extinct. Most corporate sites today feature reams of outdated copy, meaningless stock images and cluttered content that either repels visitors or endangers their trust. These sites look fussy and frilly with their overly complicated navigation, their illegible text, and their ambiguous copy.

Meanwhile, the web is growing astronomically. Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook alone store more than 1.2 million terabytes of information—information that can be found on the third or thirtieth page of a typical search. And consumers are showing their loyalty to companies that produce the most timely and salacious stories online, making our corporate sites look dull and lifeless.

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The Manoverboard Team

Since beginning work with Manoverboard six months ago, I have learned a great deal about the graphic design industry. Not from the graphic world myself, it has been an interesting half-year getting up to speed on this laser-specific style of creativity. What I have discovered is that design is an intentional creative communication tool which has left me in awe of both the skill and detail of my coworkers. Here’s a peek behind the curtain with ten highlights:

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bamboo trees in forestAccording to a stellar new report by Greenpeace, internet and IT services comprise approximately 2% of all carbon emissions — or approximately the same as that of the aviation sector. In other words, those crowded lanes in the sky are putting out as much carbon as the cable beneath our roads.

In the report, the authors point out that while there have been some improvements (and Apple comes out smelling great with a 100% Clean Energy Index), for a number of internet behemoths like Facebook and eBay, there is much to be done if we want to stay ahead of a sustainable growth curve.

The Internet is Expected to Continue Its Growth Trajectory

According to Doug Webster, Vice President of product and solutions marketing at Cisco “Cisco’s VNI Forecast once again showcases the seemingly insatiable demand for bandwidth around the globe and provides insights into the architectural considerations necessary to deliver on the ever-increasing experiences being delivered. With more and more people, things, processes and data being connected to the Internet of Everything, the intelligent network and the service providers who operate them are more relevant than ever.”

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