What Ever Happened to Green Hosting?

No one ever said saving the planet was easy - or cheap - but many Web workers are firmly dedicated to enacting "green," eco-friendly initiatives; and no 'Net industry is as committed to this movement as Web hosting providers.

Of course, when the U.S. economy found itself in a slump, the move towards ubiquitous green hosting across the Web slowed drastically. However, there are still some companies out there working tirelessly to steer the industry towards a greener future.

Is it time for your Web business to join the green initiative? Below are seven hosting providers currently leading the way in eco-friendly technology:

FatCow's commitment to going green will probably blow you away. That's because the company's offices and data centers are all 100 percent powered by wind energy after the company purchases verified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to make up for the power grid energy most hosting company's must necessarily use.

This Web hosting provider was conceived and built around the idea of energy conservation; after all, it's right there in the name! The GreenGeeks energy efficient infrastructure is carbon neutral and 300 percent green. It achieves this seemingly impossible task by buying three times as many wind energy credits than the amount of energy it uses from the grid. GreenGeeks has also reconfigured all of its servers to run cooler and more efficiently while using less energy. GreenGeeks provides users with special seals they can attach to their websites to show visitors that they've gone green.

HostGator may promise to "eat up the competition," but this Web hosting company certainly isn't eating up unnecessary energy. Like GreenGeeks, HostGator works to reverse its impact on the environment by purchasing registered, verified and then retired Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for wind powered energy, and as a result ends up being about 130 percent powered by wind.

By purchasing wind energy credits to offset grid energy usage, iPage is able to ensure its customers that their websites will be totally powered by clean, green energy.

Being one of the most prominent names in the industry yields a certain responsibility, and Web hosting provider 1&1 has gladly accepted that role and now helps lead the way to a greener future. The company buys up RECs to match all of the energy used by its Kansas-based data center, many of which come from a hydroelectric facility and are certified by the Green-e Energy program. The company also takes green initiatives in its offices and lets its customers show off their own ecological resolve with a seal they can attach to their websites.

ThinkHost harnesses the power of both wind and sun to provide totally carbon-neutral Web hosting to its customers. The company also goes through Green-e Energy to purchase their RECs, and promises not to pass along the "extra costs" that come with going green to their clients. To go a step further, the company will plant a new tree for every new customer that signs up for its services.

In addition to purchasing RECs to make up for all of the energy sucked by its servers from the power grid, HostPapa also buys green energy tags to make up for the power used by its office building and computers, making every aspect of its day-to-day operations green certified.