Celebrate Earth Day by Learning about Environmentally Friendly Web Development on WordPress.tv

Today is Earth Day, a worldwide annual event first celebrated in 1970 that focuses on addressing environmental concerns. Earth Day Network coordinates 192 countries with more than a billion people participating in today’s event. The organization uses WordPress to build the world’s largest environmental movement through education, public policy, and consumer campaigns.

Over the past few years, environmentally-friendly web development has become an increasingly popular topic at WordCamps. Several presentations are available on WordPress.tv that highlight how web developers have the ability to make a positive impact on reducing the internet’s carbon footprint.

Jenn Schlick, a project manager at the MIT Energy Initiative, was one of the first WordCamp speakers to bring greater awareness to this topic with her presentation on Low-Carbon Web Design at WordCamp Finland in 2016. She explained a few ways that developers can minimize a website’s carbon footprint by choosing online services that are powered by renewable energy and optimizing for performance.

In 2017, Tom Greenwood gave a presentation titled Zero Carbon WordPress that challenged the community to help tackle climate change. With WordPress powering such a large percentage of the web, the community has the opportunity to lead the way in developing sites that use less energy, powered by hosts that run on renewable energy sources.

More recently, Jack Lenox spoke at WordCamp Bordeaux 2019 on “How better performing websites can help save the planet.” His presentation had a stronger emphasis on performance with practical steps for simplifying the interface, reducing code, using the right image file types, caching, accessibility, and more.

Lenox has also created a tiny WordPress theme called Susty that he said is “an experiment in minimalism.” It loads WordPress with just 6KB of data transfer.

At WordCamp Nordic 2019, Jaakko Alajoki gave a presentation titled Environmentally friendly WordPress development, with experiments that used a Raspberry Pi web server and power meter to demonstrate power consumption. The session should be available on WordPress.tv soon.

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7 Comments


  1. Wow the Susty theme looks fantastic.

    Kinda related. Green Geeks sponsored WordCamp Santa Clarita this year and I had the opportunity to discuss this every issue with them. :)

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  2. It is a great step from wordpress community, as soon as we can understand the value of power consumption the more we can create environment friendly websites.

    Waiting for the video of Raspberry Pi web servers, It will be a revolution in wordpress industry

    Thank you for sharing the valuable information

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  3. Mighty Bytes in Chicago also does some great work in sustainability with some comprehensive resources on sustainable web design.

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  4. I have actually taken this into consideration a few times already. But I believe that we developers really should focus on speed and performance when developing a website. Why wait 10 seconds for a website to load a bunch of badly optimized useless code when you can just wait 1 second for the exact same experience. But then again, I am this kind of speed nerd that always want to get 100/100 on google pagespeed :D But I have started to realize that getting these loadtimes down & minimizing the amount of data sent is kind of impossible when you want a website full of images and, especially javascript. I myself have managed to get my jampacked colourfull website down to around 400KB. One contributing factor is that I have used a more modern image format, SVG and removed all unused CSS.

    I have also thought about VPS hosting. Most people want to use dedicated servers, if not then it is KVM VPSes that use dedicated ram and storage. I personally believe that this is a waste. If one person constantly uses 100MB of the 10000MB available, why not share those resources with others. I do understand the concern for overselling, but I believe that this needs to change, especially with the growing population!

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  5. Over the past few years, environmentally-friendly web development has become an increasingly popular topic at WordCamps.

    This is just stupid. China is building hundreds of new coal plants. This reminds me of the need to use buzzwords(gender equality, feminism, white privilege) to get funding in academia.

    If you want to “save” the planet by minimizing CO2 just advocate for nuclear power and lobby politicians to pressure China instead of wasting time optimizing CPU cycles.

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    1. Haha can agree with you on that. But I would see this more as a side thing.
      Optimize your website, make it faster for the end user, use less bandwidth and then if someone wants to include the environment then sure :p

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