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.
Okay, so that's the goal?
The goal of the project is to reduce the environmental impact of the web.
To do that, making how to do this freely and easily accessible in a single place seems a good start.
Nice how can I help?
In the coming weeks, an outline for a guide will be added, and sections fleshed out in more detail.
When that's there, it'll be easier to get involved in creating the guide, but right now, the easiest thing to if you're interested by is to can sign up to the mailing list below and hear when there's something ready for you:
Hey, who's behind this by the way?
Oh, I'm Chris. I run a small company, Product Science, and I'm working to take the idea of Planet Friendly Web Development, that I've been speaking about in various conferences around Europe and online, and make the ideas as easy to apply as possible. If you'd like to help, I'd love to hear from you.
Boring but necessary licensing stuff
The contents of this guide, is all licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0.