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.
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.