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README.md

The Planet Friendly Web Guide

Hi there! Welcome to the source repo for the planet friendly web guide, an online guide to help you understand how digital products like web sites and apps create an environmental footprint, and what you can do as a maker of them to change this.

This might be a good time to share the vision of this project:

working with web professionals, campaigners, and academics, to build tools and information resources for web professionals so that they can understand and radically reduce the environmental impact of the web

Why should I care about a planet friendly web?

The internet is a great thing. It's also arguably the biggest machine on earth, and like other big machines, it uses a lot of energy - energy that is largely generated by burning coal, creating a massive carbon footprint. IT as a sector now has a carbon footprint greater than Poland, and as more of what we do moves online, it grows faster and faster.

It doesn't have to be this way. The steps you can take if you want to make the internet more planet friendly at worst tend to be invisible to users (like running it on renewable power), or make it work better, by improving the user experience, or cost less to run.

This sounds great! Why aren't we doing this already?

To start with, the environmental impact of the the net is a subject we haven't really engaged with in a meaningful way - that the web runs on servers, the the servers run on electricity largely generated by burning fossil fuels is something we tend not to think about and therefore not act upon.

Also, there's been a perception that some measures have been harder to adopt without compromising your ability to move quickly, or build products or sites the way you're used to. This isn't really the case any more, and in fact, there's now a lot of overlap between good practices from an environmental standpoint, and straight-up good engineering or design practice.

Finally, there's a fair few other reasons, but one of the main ones is that information for doing this is split across a number of different areas of expertise, and it's hard to find it freely accessible in one place.

Contributing

If you're comfortable with web development:

Installation

Run make to install the dependencies with npm.

make

Usage

Run make serve in the project root to the site at http://localhost:8080, and rebuild everytime there is a change detected.

make serve

Using Glitch

You can run this project yourself on glitch, by remixing the project at:

https://glitch.com/~planetfriendlyweb

Using Github

Fork this project and submit a PR.

Boring but necessary licensing stuff

The contents of this guide, is all licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0.

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