Plenty of environmentally conscious entrepreneurs already re-cycle paper and computers. They might even drive hybrid vehicles and look for ways to reduce the impact of their businesses on the earth. And now there are ways to continue that philosophy on the internet by getting onboard with a green web-hosting provider. That's right--we're talking solar- and wind-powered websites.
Affordable Internet Services Online Inc.in Romoland, California, is a green web-hosting service that has been using solar power since 2001. They have 120 solar panels mounted on the roof of their data center, solar tubes providing light during the day and a large bank of batteries storing the power to keep their servers running at all times. "We wanted to help the environment, but we also wanted to get rid of our growing electric bill," says technology manager Phil Nail. They've attracted a variety of clients from around the world that feel strongly about the environment and want to demonstrate that commitment to their web customers.
A really good green web-hosting provider should offer all the amenities of any other host. Look for a company that performs regular backups, monitors its servers and has good uptime. Using a green provider doesn't have to cost more, either. AISO, for example, offers packages starting at $9.95 per month. Some other leading providers to look into are EcoSky, wind-powered Locomotive Mediaand Solar Data Centers.
Expect this niche to stay small. Says Nail, "I don't see any of the large companies going this route because of the amount of solar panels they would need to generate enough electricity." Still, entrepreneurs looking for a green hosting alternative have several options to choose from.