Whenever I tell people that my partner and I run Make Hay, a green and ethical web design business, I nearly always get asked “how can a web design company be green and ethical?“.
We asked ourselves the same question back in 2004 when we decided to break away and do things our own way. Inspired by Neil Crofts and his book ‘Authentic – How to Make a Living by Being Yourself‘ (which was followed by ‘Authentic Business – How to Create and Run your Perfect Business‘) we decided that we just needed to follow the things that are important to us in everyday life.
A few years down the line and we’re still always considering new ways to conduct business ethically and responsibly, whether that’s socially, environmentally or technically.
Because people often wonder how a web design company can be green and ethical I thought I’d share how we work with you over a series of posts:
Part 1 – Powered by the Wind
Part 2 – Waste? What waste?
Part 3 – Be a Smart Consumer
Part 4 – Live your Policy
Part 5 – Make Ethical Friends
PART 1 – Powered by the Wind
In the industry of web design we have a great advantage when it comes to waste and energy – That advantage is that we don’t need to buy physical materials and stock to provide our service. However, the one thing we couldn’t live without is our computers and therefore our primary consumable by far is electricity.
The simplest and most effective way to reduce electricity use is just by remembering to switch things off, its as simple as that. Be liberated from the ‘stand by’ button and turn things off completely when you don’t need them. You’ve heard all this before but it really does make a difference, not only to the planet but to your energy bill too.
The electrical equipment in your office that is switched on should be energy efficient to minimise electricity waste. We all know about the low energy light bulbs and most of us now use them everywhere but there are computer components which use less energy too. To cut down waste we tend to replace computer parts rather than whole computers in one go, and when we do, we look for those types of components.
However, if you want to green-up the power you use in one swoop then how about using a renewable energy provider? Switching to renewables means that your lights, computers, printers all the electrical equipment in your workplace will burn less or no oil. We use ecotricity (a company which provides electricity generated by their wind turbines) but there are now many others available. In fact Energy Watch provide a comprehensive list of Green Electricity Tariffs where you should be able to find one that suits you.
Green your website too!
Did you know that your website can be powered by renewable energy too? Well it can. All of our Make Hay websites are wind powered and we provide green hosting for our clients as well.
Like electricity tariffs there are various types of eco-friendly web hosting, some of which offset carbon, some plant a tree for each new customer. Our hosting servers, data centres and offices are powered by the wind so they really are green. Visit www.green-hosting.co.uk to find out how it all works.
Next installment: Part 2 – ‘Waste? What Waste?…’
Vicky – Make Hay