Confession: This blog may be an eco-fail!

I’ve made it a mission to live a low-footprint life and motivate others to do so. But alas, sometimes it turns out that the best advice I have to offer is, DON’T do as I do!

As one example, I’m learning that my blog and website may have a large eco-footprint. Yikes! Awkward and embarrassing, given that I’ve set myself up as a source of information on green living and in fact had just written a post about online footprint!

The fact is, it’s something that’s happened more than I care to admit: I come to find out that something I’m doing isn’t eco-friendly. But, learning and improving is what life is all about, right? So when I find out I’m doing something destructive, I set about changing it as best I can. (Of course this applies to life in general, not just eco-footprint. More times than I can count, I’ve been faced with the unpleasant realization that something I’m saying or doing is having a negative impact on other people and the world. It’s a hard realization but is the first step to effecting necessary change.)

Regarding the eco-footprint of this website, I’m learning that I may be consuming a huge amount of bandwidth unnecessarily. I’ve just opened up a conversation with my hosting service, Dreamhost, to find out how I can reduce the footprint of this site while still effectively conveying the content I’m setting out to share with you.

By the way, Dreamhost are great folks, and I’m going to take this opportunity to put in a plug for them. I recommend Dreamhost for three main reasons:

1) Trouble-free operations: I have never, in the 10+ years I’ve used Dreamhost for web hosting and domain name service, had a problem that was caused on their end.

2) Excellent customer service: And for the problems on my end, I recommend Dreamhost because of their highly responsive and expert customer service. The articles on Dreamhost’s website on how to reduce bandwidth go way over my head; they’re written for users who actually know about things like Java and CSS and PHP, as opposed to merely knowing the words which is the level I’m at. But the Dreamhost tech support people are very skilled at adapting their advice to a person’s level of expertise. It may take some back-and-forth for me to get a handle on my bandwidth problem, but with the help of tech support, I’m confident I’ll be able to resolve it.

3) Green operations, green attitude: I’ve just found out that Dreamhost does a lot to maintain green operations at its offices and server centers. This extends not only to buildings and equipment but also to the work environment itself. They’ve got extensive recycling, and they even have composting onsite. They use ceramic cups, plates, and “real silverware” only; no disposables. They have a generous work-from-home policy, and offer financial incentives for employees to use public transport.

It’s reassuring to know that, while my blog and website may need some major eco-remediation, at least my web-hosting company is green! I’ll let you know as I find out more about the scope of the problem (it may be as simple as deleting unnecessary photos and resizing some others), and will keep you informed of my progress.

(And, if you’re looking for a web-hosting service, be sure and check out Dreamhost! Even if you’re not currently looking for a web-hosting service, their site contains a lot of valuable information for anyone who’s sharing content online. And it’s a pleasure to read.)

On a more general note, part of my point in this post is that if you learn that some aspect of your life isn’t very eco-friendly, please don’t despair, even if you can’t address it right away. No one is perfect; it’s a journey rather than a destination; and we can all learn from each other.