What is Green Hosting?

I look at websites every day, I use Bloglovin to see what new, great, paleo, gluten free or keto recipes are out there so that I can share them on my facebook page or Pinterest. I use Instagram most days, posting my own photos or enjoying the pics of my insta-buddies and use Twitter most days too.

I also love to read the interesting things that people write about technology, travel, the environment, lifestyle, global human stories and experiences. I’m not at all interested in celebrities, gossip or negative scaremongering, thankfully I can chose what to read, there are so many different apps, websites and blogs that it’s easy to choose my reading material.

Despite the differences between websites and their content there is one thing which every website has in common, can you guess what that is? Continue reading What is Green Hosting?

Day 3 refugee camp, France

Guest Post from Colette Ní Eachtarn (a friend who doesn’t have a blog… yet. Her words need to be heard)
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Day 3 on the ground in ‘The Jungle‘, Calais, France.

An emotional day today for the whole team. From the minute we stepped into the camp it seems.

Again the medical team were out in force – their team split into two parts a group out and about and the rest based in the three caravans kindly donated to us for the few days. One we’ve stocked completely with medical supplies, the other two as exam rooms – Continue reading Day 3 refugee camp, France

Save Our Planet Awards

We are very excited to have been nominated for the Save Our Planet Awards in which voting is currently open. I’ll wait right here while you pop over to vote for us.

These awards are in their second year in the North West of Ireland where we live and are a great way to find out about local green business or organisations. It means a lot to us to be nominated for an award that is focused in the North West, the area of Ireland that we have chosen to make our home.

The Save our Planet Awards celebrate groups, organizations, businesses, and individuals who are outstanding examples in implementing good environmental practice and initiatives, and who, in their own way, are “saving the planet”!
You can have that person or organization recognized and acknowledged in a real way, and, in the process, highlight the difference that small actions and real commitment can make to the earth, amid the major threats facing it from climate change, and environmental damage.

We have been nominated because we run a number of green businesses and have done so for a few years now. Many people know us as the “windmill people” because we have been teaching people to build their own wind turbines since 2007. We have taught many courses in our local area of Co. Leitrim and have also been teaching further afield – both in Co Kilkenny and Portugal.

These courses are fully hands on and can be quite challenging from an energy point of view as we go full blast and build a wind turbine from scratch during the six days. This work is great fun as we get to interact with all sorts of wonderful and interesting people, it’s a good length of time to get to know people when you both work and eat together. Of course the fact that we also get to travel is very cool and we have loved that wind turbines have brought us to Portugal a number of times in the past few years.

We also design and install other renewable energy systems and have helped a number of people in Ireland to set up off-grid electrical systems. We often end up in the most wonderful of settings during this work and it is very rewarding when we see how happy people are to become self sufficient as far as electricity is concerned.

We are perhaps less well know for our Green Web Hosting and we often think that this is where we could have the biggest impact on reducing pollution and helping people to reduce their carbon footprint. Did you know that the internet is set to outrun the Air Traffic Industry as the dirtiest industry in just a few short years?

Do you know where your website resides? All websites live on a server somewhere so they live in large server farms and data centers – these are not really idyllic areas of rolling pasture with trees blowing blissfully in the breeze. They are large industrial warehouses with very large electrical bills for cooling and running the servers (really powerful computers). A web server on average produces more than 630kg of CO2 and consumes 1,000 KWh of energy annually (Wikipedia).

What can we do about this? We could stop using the internet… Yeah, didn’t think so, me neither. We can move our websites onto green servers – server farms that are powered directly by renewable energy. It’s easy to do and we can do all the techy side of things for you – arrange the movers and pack the boxes, load the moving van as it were. We keep our eyes out for the best green servers around the world because that sort of thing is important to us. It only costs a little more than having your website smoking coal and just think about the benefits.

What can we do if we don’t have a website or don’t want to move it until the rental period is up?

  • Switch off the data connection on our phones for a few hours every day – this also gives you the benefit of a quiet period. I have a free android app (break free) on my phone that automatically switches off the data from midnight until 10am. I can choose to easily switch it back on if I wish to be internet active earlier in the morning however I often find that I don’t want to.
  • Switch off your phone at night – fully! If you need the alarm to function as I often do then switch your phone onto flight mode until you are up and about. Who needs all those notifications before your first coffee anyway?
  • Turn off your laptop and desktops when they are not in use, especially overnight. Double whammy here – you save electricity reducing your bill and you also stop the computer accessing information and updating etc.
  • Switch off your smart tv when it is not in use.
  • Switch off your DAB radio when you are not listening to it.

Are you noticing a theme here? I guess it’s obvious however sometimes the obvious is not so easy to see. It’s easy to forget that our smartphones are responsible for energy use even when they are not plugged in to charge.

But before you switch off – don’t forget to pop on over to vote for us in the Save Our Planet Awards. If we are successful then more people will hear about us and we can get more people to make the switch – switch over to green hosting and switch off.

Another Referendum

We have another referendum approaching and we have the opportunity to make our opinions count. I have always felt that it is important to vote. There have been times when I truly wonder whether it really makes any difference to vote, the same policies seem to be in place no matter which of the parties get in however I will not give in to disinterest or frustration, I will always exercise my right to vote no matter how disillusioned I feel.

If everybody who really feels disenfranchised were to become engaged and vote then perhaps things would finally change – I live in hope!

I have copied here a blog piece by John Perkins, writer of The Economic Hitman, I think it’s worth a read.

Ireland’s Referendum- an Opportunity for Change

On May 31 Ireland will put the EU’s new treaty for fiscal discipline to a referendum, giving Irish voters a chance to overturn this controversial agreement. The crisis in Ireland is symbolic of ones facing many European countries, as well as the United States, and is a direct outgrowth of policies implemented against developing countries when I was an economic hit man (EHM). The upcoming decision by Irish citizens is a harbinger for other countries around the world, as well as crucial to Ireland’s financial future.

If voters agree to sign this treaty for fiscal discipline, it will obligate Ireland to run low government deficits and maintain drastically reduced levels of public debt; in other words, the country will be forced to implement even stricter austerity measures on its already beleaguered citizens. It is important to remember that Dublin accepted international aid in 2010 in order to deal with a huge budget deficit brought on by the previous government’s pledge to bail out Irish banks for billions of dollars in bad loans. The Irish Government has been “asset stripping” –selling off public resources, including gas from the west coast, utilities, and forests in attempts to reduce the debt. This is an old tactic that was perfected by economic hit men in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East during the 1970s and 1980s. Many Irish are vehemently protesting such acts and are opposed to signing the EU treaty, declaring them a loss of sovereignty for a nation that fought a bloody battle for full independence less than a century ago.

The Awaken Ireland Movement is an example of an approach aimed at empowering the people to create a different future, bringing the people together in a community-based grassroots movement to share information on viable alternatives and to encourage conversations towards a vision for a better future. The challenge will be to base the movement on formulating realistic solutions at local levels in ways that respect differences and allow a voice for the many. Austerity measures are killing the European economy. Not surprisingly Goldman Sachs and other investment organizations are at the root of the problem; they are strategically staffing Europe’s government and the Central Bank with hard-hearted investment bankers more interested in the concerns of the financial sector than those of the people. These ex-European Commissioners and former central bankers are helping the banks gain access to those in power.