274 – How you can make your website have a smaller carbon footprint

Interview with Marco Berrocal and Nathan Wrigley

When I drive my car, I’m highly aware of the impact that my driving is having. I can hear the engine rumble, I can smell the gases that are coming from the exhaust. I know for a fact that this is not good for the environment.

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I’m burning energy and it’s causing pollution.

When I’m browsing the internet, this is the environmental impact that I’m feeling… nothing. Literally zero. I almost never connect the fact that my browsing and the websites that I create have an environmental impact.

My computers are shiny, my phone screen has rounded edges and looks really nice. How could they possibly do any damage to the environment, and even if they did, my part is so small that it does not matter… right?

Perhaps not. The statistics tell another story, and it’s not something that we can be complacent about.

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Today I’m chatting with Marco Berrocal from Green Geeks, which is a WordPress website host which has a focus upon hosting with the impact on the environment at the forefront of their offering.

We talked about what Green Geeks stand for, and we go into a rather broad discussion about how the internet is polluting the environment.

There’s all sorts of statistics about how much energy is being used by the internet in this episode; the amount of pollution that the internet is creating.

We talk about how each one of us might be able to reduce the impact that the internet has. What kind of things that you can do whilst browsing as well as building websites? I mentioned Jack Lenox from Automattic, who was able to produce a seven kilobyte website.

We also talk about the fact that it might be good to have a tool that tells you how much energy you’re consuming as you browse the internet. Some system which would enable you to see the impact of your browsing in real time. These tools don’t exist just yet, but they’d be useful.

We get into whether or not it would be a good niche to proclaim your environmental credentials when you are offering your website services. Perhaps there’s a growing group of possible clients who would be happy to support agencies and freelancers who are going out of their way to mitigate their carbon footprint.

Towards the end, we get into what Green Geeks offer in terms of WordPress hosting, the plans and the pricing.

This is one of those thought provoking episodes which might make you think about something new, and promote a change in the way that you build your WordPress websites.

Mentioned in this podcast:

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: Welcome to the WP Builds podcast, bringing you the latest news from the WordPress community. Welcome your hosts, David Waumsley and Nathan Wrigley.

Hello there, and welcome to the WP Builds podcast. Once again, this is episode number 274 in total. How can you make your website have a smaller carbon footprint? It was published on Thursday, the 14th of March, 2022. My name's Nathan Ridley. And I'll be joined by our guest in just a few short minutes. But before then, a little bit of housekeeping, as we all know.

First thing to say is if you are interested in anything WP Builds please head over to our website. It's at the fairly obvious URL. WP Builds.com. You'll notice a menu at the top and the links that I'd like to suggest that you look up are the subscribe link. First of all, WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe over there.

You'll be able to. A couple of email lists that you can sign up for one, to be notified about the podcast when we produce it. And also to let you know about any deals that we find along the way, there's also our Twitter handle on there, which is at WP Builds, YouTube channel and so on. So feel free to go over there and subscribe.

But yeah, that's a really good page. And another one. It would be WP Builds.com forward slash deals. I mentioned this each and every week, because lots of you seem to use it to get significant amounts of coupon codes for products, themes, blocks, and all of that good WordPress stuff. So that's WP Builds.com forward slash deals.

It's their 365 days of the year. So if you're buying something why not make use of it. The other thing to mention is if you are interested in joining our small, but very nice community over on our mustard, on the install, it's a free bit of open-source software. It's a bit like Twitter, but without all of the clutter going on, it's WP Builds.social.

Yes. That is a URL WP build, stop social. So come and join us. There's I think about 80 of us so far, it's fairly quiet, but you never know if I keep pushing it. Maybe some people will sign up and have a conversation in a federated, non conglomerates architect. Okey dokey, nothing to mention every Monday.

I don't know if you know about this, but every Monday we do a live show it's called this week in WordPress, me and typically three guests from the WordPress community go live. And we talk about the WordPress news from the previous week. What I suggest that you do is that you put something in your calendar.

It's 2:00 PM UK time, or you could just go to WP Builds.com forward slash live every month. 2:00 PM UK time and join us, make some comments. We love the more comments, the better. Okay, let's talk about the podcast episode today. Shall we, like I said, number 274 today on the podcast, we have Marco Berrocal who works for Green Geeks.

So Green Geeks are a green hosting company who endeavor to make their hosting packages. More friendly in terms of the carbon footprint that they create. But the conversation that we have today is much more wide ranging than that. We talk about what it is on the internet that we're doing. How is it that we're able to manage to look at what pages?

And of course it all comes down in the end. So the consumption of electricity and that has an impact. So we talk about the kinds of initiatives that you could get involved in the ways that you could make sure that your browsing doesn't impact the environment. And I think it's fair to say that most of us are using the internet.

Probably don't give this a second thought. We just browse on our benign shiny. Clean devices and have no conception of what's going on. So we talk about all of that different ways that we can improve our experience on the internet and hopefully reduce the impact. And then towards the end, we talk about Green Geeks credentials as a green host and what it is that they do that.

I hope that you enjoy it. Hello there. Welcome to the WP Builds podcast. One small. Today we have an interview episode and I'm joined today by Marco Barrow, Cal from Green Geeks. Hi there.

[00:04:21] Marco Berrocal: Hello there. Nathan pleasure to

[00:04:22] Nathan Wrigley: be here. No. Now I have to be honest, I've managed to wake Marco up at some ludicrous hour of the day.

I think you just said it was four o'clock, four 30 in the morning. And and so it's honestly I would be unable to function at four 30 in the morning. If if you just want to go and take a lie down during this podcast, that's fine.

[00:04:44] Marco Berrocal: No. Actually, if I don't respond in a few seconds, you know what happened?

[00:04:50] Nathan Wrigley: That'd be a great podcast. Me just talking and then silence. We're here though. Today to talk about Green Geeks, which is the company that Marco works for. Probably the best thing to do. If you want to familiarize yourself with green gates and you've never heard of them before is to go to Green Geeks.

It's exactly, as you might expect. Dot com Green Geeks.com and go and check the website out there, our hosting company. But they've got a little bit of a different take on hosting because they have the environment and eco friendliness as a sort of big badge of honor. It's their UVP, if you like.

And that is the topic that we're going to explore today. And. I have to say Marco, when I use the internet, even though I know that your company exists. And even though I'm clearly aware that I'm consuming resources of the planet, I find it very hard in my head to connect my use of the internet with environmental damage.

I see it almost as reading a book, it's completely benign and I don't mean Actively trying to ignore the problem. It's just, it doesn't have the same impact. Whereas if I get a bottle of milk and I destroy it, at the end of using that bottle of milk, I throw the plastic bottle away.

It's a really tangible thing and I can see what I'm doing and I can feel it. And it's visceral. Whereas the internet, my use of the internet, whether that's me hosting websites or just browsing the internet, I find that really a difficult jump to make. Just right at the outset. Can you paint a picture for us of how the internet as a whole is causing problems for our environment?


[00:06:33] Marco Berrocal: absolutely. So the internet is based ultimately if we get down to physics and the raw stuff out there, it's basically a, of. Impulses electrical impulses that are actually transmitted between like from, and to your computer. So when you are accessing a website you are actually sending or receiving those impulses from a server that is ultimately serving you a webpage on your browser.

That's really the raw physics of how the internet works. And obviously we're all interconnected Via these huge cables that are actually beneath the sea. There are this gigantic cables, like for example, there's one between New York and London, and this is ultimately how we communicate.

So all of that stuff, all of those impulses, all of that. Energy that is being transmitted worldwide in billions and billions of data that is servers are being used to power that, and servers have the particular issue, even though they're getting more and more efficient as time goes by, you still need a lot of power to keep them cool.

Because of the heat that they transmit because they are machines that are high powered machines and they need to be on 24 7 and as such, they need to be cooled down and most data, if not all data centers use power in order to keep that alive in order to keep the AC flow going.

Yeah it's I would say that the internet as a. As resource consumers right up there, like for example, with the food chain or the air travel industry where, you know, every, the heavier we travel, so to speak the more of a, the more fossil fuel we're burning, it's the same with the internet.

The more data that I consume as a unit. The more I am actually leaving a footprint behind as far as power consumption is

[00:08:44] Nathan Wrigley: concerned. Yeah. I think it's really curious that you mentioned the sort of airline industry and maybe I'll bolt into that cars. Cars, obviously, if you stand anywhere near a car, you can literally smell.

The pollution, you can feel the stuff coming out the back. If you stand near the, where the exhaust is repelled by that. You want to get away from it cause you can feel the stuff going into your lungs. And I guess the same would be true if you stood at anywhere near the back of an airplane, you can actually feel it and it stinks.

Whereas the internet is just such a different proposition. We use it. And rich our lives. We use it all the time and there is so little connection between our consumption, which is almost 24 7 these days. I'm hand on heart. I'm trying to cut down my consumption of my mobile phone and the computers in front of me, but it feels as each year goes by, despite my best efforts, I'm actually consuming more and more.

I guess that's the puzzle that needs to be unlocked. How do we make people have the connection between something which feels so clean? Looking at my phone and I take great pride in wiping it clean each day and making it look as shiny and new as possible feels like a benefit and a good thing, but obviously it's doing damage.

How do we actually make people aware of all this stuff?

[00:10:09] Marco Berrocal: I happened to study history as well. I studied history. The university didn't Costa Rica, and those are called social currents and social currents are things that don't occur overnight. They are things that the more you discuss them the more you analyze the problem, the more you expose the problem to people, the more people become aware of it.

And thus the, the stream of change occurs. It's not something that happens overnight. Most historical. Not facts, but things play out this way, even though something might happen on a specific date, all the buildup, all the information, all the discussion that comes prior to it leads up to that incident.

I'm not saying. This is going to lead to an incident. I'm just saying that, there's a current of change that needs to be propagated, so to speak amongst the population, in order for people to become aware of it and ultimately, push for a change because I'm pretty certain very optimistic that we, as a society are concerned with, our way of.

On this planet, but we also want to keep our lifestyle so to speak in order to do stuff and have as little as an impact as possible on the environment. Yeah,

[00:11:37] Nathan Wrigley: Thing there, is. Given the choice of do you want to pollute or don't you want to pollute? It's a really easy binary decision to just say I don't want to pollute.

Yeah. It's easy. But then say, okay, can you put your mobile phone away for the rest of your life? I don't know about that. Quite happy with a little bit of pollution and I suppose a podcast like this just getting that knowledge out there, that these are the facts.

This is where we're at right now. Yes. That's the thing, which is going to start changing things. Okay. So please go and have a look at this page. It's Green Geeks.com forward slash going dash green, bring gates.com forward slash going dash green. I'm going to take it on face value that everything written on that page is true, but there's some kind of remarkable things that came out of reading that page for me.

And one of them is I'm sure that everybody can understand that, you plug in a computer. The computer's on, it's using electricity. That's totally easy to understand that if you've got a more modern computer with a slightly different setup from an older one, it might be able to use less power.

The thing that jumped out for me though, was that in all these data centers around the world, 40% of the power that's being used, isn't used to power the computers. It's used to keep them from overheating. Now that I. Utterly staggering.

[00:13:02] Marco Berrocal: Yeah, me too. When I first found out I was really stuck at about it and I was like, oh wow.

I didn't think of this, but it's absolutely true. Then I felt maybe we should have the data centers up in a cold, with running outside during the winter. But then I said, this is highly unfeasible, but.

[00:13:22] Nathan Wrigley: That, that was my immediate reaction as well. I just thought wouldn't it be sensible because given the nature of fact that the signals from the computer travel at the speed of light, and we can in effect, communicate with, let's say Alaska for want of a better word.

We, if we put lots of data centers in Alaska, then we would just open the door and hopefully the freezing cold air would rush. Cool, the computer's done. And I thought, actually, that's not really solving the problem. That's just heating Alaska up. Isn't it. And but how do we even get over this problem if 40% is you simply call them down?

Are there. Okay, first problem. Is it because is this massive overheating problem? Is that largely because we're just stacking computers on top of other computers with basically no space between them. So the combined effort of putting all of these computers in one room, Which we lock up and make secure and burglar proof.

So presumably, there's no great holes out to the environment. And what have you, is it is that, is it a product of that? We've got everything pushed into small spaces and so they're combining the heat and making the problem worse?

[00:14:31] Marco Berrocal: No, because if you had the service somewhere else that would still have the same issue.

I think another part of the issue that's not discussed on this page as well. It's also the commitment out of people who make software out of people who make the internet possible by serving web pages. We don't tend to think of this and it's not unfortunately highlight on the site. Talk about it, I'm a developer as well.

And if you don't need to send something to your visit, You're actually adding towards that ultimate payload. That is your website. So if, for example, I'm serving X amount of static files or let's say a video that someone isn't actually looking at again, let's go back to the whole physics of impulse thing and we're ultimately sending stuff to people that they don't actually use.

And also we're making the web slower by serving people, stuff that they don't meet. I don't know if I explained myself.

[00:15:36] Nathan Wrigley: I think I get it in other is what you're trying to say. If we're just creating on necessarily big web pages, then that, okay. Here's my analogy. See if this works. If you ask me to carry a cup of tea upstairs to my office that's fine.

I can carry the cup of tea, but if you say here's a cup of tea and whilst you're at it, would you needlessly carry this ton of lead at the same time and then just set it down at the top of the stairs. And then a bit later, would you bring the lead back down again, then I've just done a ton of work that I just basically shouldn't have had to have done because it was pointless.

[00:16:16] Marco Berrocal: Now that is the same analogy, but only. With the side effect that you're actually consuming power because you're sending that data through now, multiply this by millions and millions or billions of websites and whatnot. You are actually, polluting stuff that is not going to be used that's there.

That's I would say the food analogy is it comes great here because sometimes when we waste food or food goes bad. It's an effort of serving that food and all the logic behind it. That is not going to be necessarily used because it's going to be wasted in, I dunno, if it goes bad or people throw it away, they allowed it to go bad, stuff like that.

That's why I'm also on a personal load. I'm very. Because I, when I became conscious of that, I was like, wow, I didn't know I was doing this. I became very conscience about the food that I actually throw away for me. It's a big deal, not because of the money, but because of the environmental impact as well.

Yeah that's a good analogy. Okay.

[00:17:24] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I guess the thing here is that the internet seems to be growing at rate, we've had it in certain parts of the world for probably a couple of decades now, and that has permeated. Different parts of our lives.

If you go back 15 years, maybe you were doing email and you would sit down at a computer and switch it on for a few minutes and check your email. And then the computer is probably obsolete and you'd switch it off again. And then everybody started sending attachments and suddenly the computer was probably on for most of the day.

As things went from being paper. To word processing and then somebody invented the mobile phone, which could suddenly view the internet. And so now that's switched on permanently your back pocket in each charging each day. And then other parts of the world in their billions have also started to adopt the ubiquitous use of the internet.

And it's a runaway train, and it's a runaway train that nobody's talking about. And I guess that's the problem that well on your website, again, same page, as we mentioned earlier in just nine years ago, even the number nine years ago, it was breathtaking. There were 500,000. So half a million data centers and by data centers, imagine, you walk in and there's just row after row of computer all switched on and doing.

Basically a hundred percent of the time. And now just nine years later, 8 million data centers. So that's a 16 fold increase. And this article is probably written two years ago now because it says that was a 16 fold increase in seven years, not nine years. And again, That's part of the problem as well.

It's a hidden problem. It's a problem that nobody can tangibly get right off the bat and it's just getting bigger. Correct.

[00:19:16] Marco Berrocal: And I will also add to the things that you mentioned about, being at the snowball effect, also the internet of things out of all the devices that are coming out, that's also, adding more and more low.

Two, two things too.

[00:19:34] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. So we have two, two solutions for this problem. The first one is that somebody discovers cold fusion at room temperature. Yay. And then we don't have to worry any more or we have to start being a bit more responsible and reigning things back in and examining the way that we're using things.

It feels to me. Route number two is the more likely let's pray for route number one, but it's yeah, it's probably not going to happen. And so what do we do? What are some little steps that we can do in our own personal lives? Let's just talk about that in general. And also, when, as we took we're were WordPress website builders let's develop that a little bit.


[00:20:16] Marco Berrocal: Like I said, iterating over the point that I said previously, do I need to send all this data to my user in order to have the site experience that this person is going to need when they visit that website? I think that is the number one question, because when we're using WordPress where oh yeah, let's add a plugin here.

Let's add a plugin. Let's do this. I want to serve this huge lighter with this great video. It's a fantastic video. It only weighs like 10 megabytes and let's say we load it on the webpage, but it's at the bottom or the middle of the webpage or so the question arises, should we need to serve that video or should we activate the video?

Whenever someone clicks on it and then request the resource because that's not going to be the same. As all the people downloading the video, even though they're not going to use it. And going back to the lead analogy that you mentioned earlier, it's stuff of like that it's things of that nature also from a political point of view.

Also, how is your government acquiring the energy in order to the electricity in order to power the country because I'll take my country. For example, I think this is like our third year in a row where 99% of the energy that we've used has been through renewable sources. We, for example, use a water.

We use hydro. Power a lot. So we've produced so much rain in these past years that we haven't had the need to, burn fossil such as coal or gas petrol, I would say in order to power up our country. So yeah those. Those two things are linked together. And obviously, go with start knowing more about this.

And like I said earlier about the social current of change, are we demanding this out of other companies as well? Are we preferring companies that have this in mind or not in order to move forward with the. 'cause like I said like you said we're a green company and we actually, what we consume as a whole, through our data centers, we put that back in way of forms of renewable energy

[00:22:38] Nathan Wrigley: sources.

Yeah. Yeah. Obviously on a global level, we need Politicians and governments and what have you to be taken great care of this, but on a more personal level, I guess that there's a responsibility for us to start demanding these kinds of things. I'm just curious, is there, as far as is there any way where I can make a judgment about.

What I am personally doing. So let's say for example, I spend my day on the internet browsing around. Do you know if there's any like browser extension or any Mac thing? The irony is it will use more energy, something that would tell me that

[00:23:19] Marco Berrocal: not at this time yet. That's a good question.

Actually, that's a good to have or implement because I saw this other as well, many years ago, it was actually a site from the UK because there's also, this is also another problem. That's intangible a lot of the stuff that we use. There's The slave labor behind it, I wasn't aware of that either.

So they do this little, really nice calculator asking you how many devices you got, how many TVs you got, et cetera, et cetera. And then it calculates how many slaves you have working for you. And people are like, what do you mean slaves? How can that be? And then they explain the root of the problem saying that a lot of things are manufactured in countries where, slave work is something that is not really criminalized and obviously big companies in order to save money.

They put that stuff All those regions in order to produce something as cheap as possible. But now to answer your question, no, but it will be something really cool because again, it creates the whole awareness kind of thing out of individuals that allows for social currents of change to take place.

[00:24:29] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Again, there's probably some developers listening to this. Here you go. I'm handing you on a plate. Here's a great tool for you to build a browser extension or something like that. If I could see that yesterday, I consumed I don't know some amount of jewels let's use jewels.

And that was a bigger mountain than the following day. I see that I actually use less and I could make some sort of comparison with w what is this actually doing? How many trees are coming down in order to get. Power plant in order for that to happen. Those kinds of things would be really interesting.

I remember reading a an article by an autumn petition. So somebody working for automatic, his name's Jack Lennox. I don't know if you've come across him. And he he, a little while ago was it was probably about a year ago. Actually he put out a seven K web page because of this exact problem. He thought I'm going to strip out absolutely everything that I don't want to do.

He wasn't actually recommending that most sites go down this route, but he was basically saying, look, yeah, Paige out in seven with the tiniest amount of calls to and from the server. And it was texts and it was using, native fonts and all of those kinds of things. And there was no clever whizzbang imagery, certainly no video or anything like that, but it was curious to see actually that's perfectly usable and yet it's using all modes.

Almost non as a pejorative term, but few resources.

[00:25:55] Marco Berrocal: Correct. There's the services out there like Pingdom and I think Google Chrome has an extension called lighthouse. No, actually I don't think they know. I know that the habit it's called lighthouse where you can measure your statistics about, how efficient are you serving a particular web page?

I think. Cool too, because it solves two problems. It kills two birds and a stone. Number one, it makes your site a lot faster, which a lot of visitors will appreciate that because everybody likes a fast web and they don't like to wait for stuff. And second you're serving less and less stuff because those two services will give you the culprit as to what is causing your web page to not load.

Where are the resources being consumed? Those services answer. That question. And I think those are pretty cool tools that I would absolutely recommend to any WordPress developer out there to use it, to verify and see what you can cut. Like you said, the lent, where can I cut the lead that I don't need?

Or I don't strictly need, but still maintaining an experience and acceptable experience for your users. Yeah,

[00:27:04] Nathan Wrigley: we'll just do one thing, which I would be really curious about is we're always told to niche down in website building, find a niche, maybe that's automotive or maybe that's weddings or whatever it might be and go at that niche and represent yourself as that niche.

I wonder. I wonder if there's a niche here for, I am the environmental website builder. There's a guy who drives past my house very often. And on the side of his truck, it says green, a building. And there's a few little images and there's a few words I won't bore you with it, but essentially he's stamping his environmental credentials.

He's going to come to your house. And he is going to build things with things which have been environmentally sourced and are going to make your house pollute less in the future because he's going to insulate it and so on. And and I was totally captured by this. And when I had some recent building work guests who I called it was him.

And I just wonder in the future, maybe this is something like a badge of honor. Maybe this is something that you could sell to your clients as a look, we're going to build you a nice green. Maybe it won't have all the images. Maybe it will have the flashy video, but here's why you should do it. And here's how we're going to do it.

And this is the impact you'll have. That's not a bad

[00:28:26] Marco Berrocal: idea. I'd like I don't know, like a certification that your website has. Positive carbon footprint or something like that. Yeah, I like that idea.

[00:28:38] Nathan Wrigley: If you think about it, it's basically what you're doing. Your posture on hosting is the exact same thing, but it's just taking it to a sort of slightly different audience and saying where the environmental website builders we're going to do our very best.

Now, moving back to your web page this, I think, has to be raised this again. Breathtaking statistics that you can't take in assuming this article was written two years ago, which it feels like it was at the time. It says that 2%, 2% of the world's carbon emissions were created by data centers, which again, according to the article represents the same.

The airline industry. Okay. But it, but you say it doesn't stop there. That's X, the internet is expected to grow to 40 18%. So that's a gigantic jump in emissions by the year 20, 40, as much as 14% being added in. And that, that almost feels crazy to say. The internet is the same as the airline industry, but that is that's true, right?

[00:29:46] Marco Berrocal: It is. Yeah. And I would say that number is a little optimistic because if this was written, when you say it was written, this is, this was definitely before the pandemic. And obviously when the pandemic. The usage of services absolutely skyrocketed all across the globe. And yeah, so I, I would say that number is it's still even it's a little conservative.

That's the medic, that's the medical term we use. It's

[00:30:13] Nathan Wrigley: conservative, not to conflate two things. Curious. I wonder actually, and this is just me wondering I've got no statistics, the bucket. I do wonder, I wonder if during the pandemic, if the airline industry went down. In the same amount that the internet went up.

In other words, I wonder if there was a net gain to the environment because people stopped traveling around in their cars quite so much and stopped flying in airplanes quite so much. It's just hyperbole. I've no idea what the balance there would have been.

[00:30:43] Marco Berrocal: That's a good, that's a good line of thought.

It's the same Len quid

[00:30:47] Nathan Wrigley: pro quo one for the other. That's right. And also with the advent of. Okay. So we want to call airplanes and the internet does provide that functionality. If I can attend an online event, as opposed to getting in the car and driving to a train station and getting on a train and then ultimately on a plane and yada, wonder if there is some sort of benefit there.

During all of this, we don't want to paint the internet as some sort of evil destructor of the environment, because we all love it. We all love what it provides. We love that it connects us all. We love that it makes our lives richer. So we're just throwing that into the mix. Okay. So two Green Geeks web hosting, like I said, It positions itself as a good custodian on the internet, a company who are going to manage your WordPress website with the environment as thought number one.

So tell me how would you achieve that? What are some of the more important things that you do to differ from all the others? You

[00:31:49] Marco Berrocal: mean from the green perspective? Okay. First of all, W we do two things. I love both, but at the second one, I'll get more, a higher emphasis. But the first one is that, we partner with the Banville environmental foundation they're based out of Portland.

And basically what they do is they tally up, yearly energy consumption. We made as a whole company, both our data centers and our employees, which are distributed worldwide. And then we purchase those credits as three times as much as that we were consumed. And we put that energy back into the grid, in the forms of renewable energy sources.

So like I said, it's how much did we consume as a whole. Okay. So the Bonneville environmental foundation will tell you, okay, we consume this. So we purchase credits in order to put that St or three times as much back into the grid in a ways of renewable. Energy sources. That's one initiative that we do.


[00:33:00] Nathan Wrigley: we just dwell on that one a minute? Because I never have understood the sort of like buying back the, you've, I've polluted. So I'm going to buy back something because I've heard, on the news, you hear terrible stories about companies who wantonly pollute. But because they know they can spend their way out of the pollution.

They just carry on predicting because you can buy an offset, certain things. So just explain what is the Banville environmental foundation and what are you actually buying and why? You're buying three times more of it, but what is the it that you're buying

[00:33:34] Marco Berrocal: w basically buying energy, like resort, like power but we're buying three times as much.

Of what we consume, but they have to be has to be energy that has been produced using clean ways of producing power, such as wind water and so

[00:33:56] Nathan Wrigley: forth. So if you're buying three times more energy than you produce, I forgive me. Cause I just simply don't understand. Or you just not giving your energy company three times more money than the are.


[00:34:10] Marco Berrocal: a good question. I don't have the answer for that one. I'm sorry. Yeah.

[00:34:14] Nathan Wrigley: Cause I just, maybe there's more to the Banville environmental foundation than I know, but if the proposition is we're buying three times more than we need, it's like the Watts three times more of what?

And if, if my telephone company says Mr. Wrigley, you owe us a hundred pounds this month. And I say, do you know what I'm going to give you 300 pounds, my company, telephone company, going to go. Yeah. All right. But we're not going to give you anything back. Would you just paid us loads more?

Fabulous. Great. So that, that I would love to have an answer to if that if at some point we can get that. Yeah, sure,

[00:34:49] Marco Berrocal: sure. Absolutely.

[00:34:50] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. Sorry. I interrupted now. Please carry on.

[00:34:54] Marco Berrocal: Yeah. And the second thing that we do, which I absolutely love because I did this once and I was really thrilled about it is that, for every customer that arrives at our.

Website, like every person that hops on board, our platform, we plant a, what tree are across the globe. Again, we partner with a nonprofit organization and what we do, what they do is they plant a tree in either Latin America. Africa or Asia. So it's a, it's called the one tree planted a nonprofit organization.

I, I did this, I think it was like 10 or 15 years ago with a bank in Costa Rica. They called me and they were like, do you want to use. Purchase a tree it's worth this much and we're going to keep it in the reservoir. Yada. And about two years ago, they reached out to me saying that my tree had grown.

I don't know how much, but that made me really happy because I was like yeah, I planted that tree, thanks to my money. I did that. So I was really ecstatic about it. And I was really happy when we introduced this. We introduced it. I think it was this year. Yeah, it was this year.

We introduced that this year. So again, for every signup that we have, every customer we get on. We plant one tree, either in Africa, India Asia or Latin America. So I was really ecstatic

[00:36:25] Nathan Wrigley: about that. That one's really easy to pass. Isn't it? Because just like nobody is going to say, can you. Planting trees.

I don't understand it. Everybody gets that one. So that's a really nice offer. So if you sign up for Green Geeks, they will grow. They will grow a tree which is just lovely and, totally easy to understand. I'm just wondering on the kind of like the hardware level on the actual infrastructure that you have, do you do anything different?

Do you like have a different sort of service structure or a different version of Linux or whatever it is that you're running, which. So just that. So basically it's the buying of the credits and the planting of the trees. Okay. Yeah. I must inquire more about the whole credits thing. If I can figure that out before the show notes go up, I will endeavor to to put that in.

If you can send something to me, that'd be great. Okay. Let's talk about the actual hosting that you do. Concentrate on that for a few minutes. Yeah. I know that you're all about WordPress. You specialize in WordPress hosting, you say, and we'll commerce and so on. Just tell us a little bit about your pricing and what it is


[00:37:34] Marco Berrocal: you offer.

Okay. I would say our strength has to do with shared hosting. Even though we offered all the other services out there, like VPs and dedicated hosting and whatnot, but I would say that our web hosting is really cool because it's really it's. Price starts like a two 50 a month when you sign up for us through a long term plan.

And we offered the standard stuff. It's this space via SSL we offer the bandwidth it's up to a, I don't know. I don't know what the limit was. I think it was a, I don't remember. I think, no, we don't have, actually, we don't have a limit as to the bandwidth that you can use, but I know some of the plants have a limitation as to how much this space you can have, but it's still, it's a very reasonable about, and for example, for 200 for $2, And 50 cents a month, you get like 50 gigabytes of web space on our hosting platform.

I think that's really a lot for, for a plan as small as that. We you can have a, one side, if you use the lowest plan or you can have unlimited websites for paying a fee such as. Five to $9 a month. That's also really cool. I'm going to say this because I have my websites at another provider.

If I don't pay as little as three geeks, trust me on that one. But I don't want them to know I'm still there. It's just that. And, it's a funny story to this because we also have a team that migrates the stuff for you, but I am torn between the. Moral question is, should I allow my coworkers to do this stuff for me?

So the answer has been no, even ever since I started at green geek, so I'm like, I keep procrastinating. I was like, yeah, I'm going to migrate to . Yeah, I'm going to move my stuff to bring the X. But then I think about all the websites I got to do. I'm like, oh man, this needs the weight. This needs the weight and so forth.

But we do have a team that does that for. It's just that I don't want to tell the guys that it's me. Yeah, exactly. I don't want to use internal resources of my company, so that's why I haven't moved. But yeah we have plans that start at two 50 a month. One of the cool things about our company is that we are trying to diversify and.

Satisfy the needs of our customers, no matter what their expertise level is. I think this is really important because there are people out there who are really familiar with WordPress. They're really insane when it comes to implementing WordPress. So they. Probably feel familiar with C panel or command line or doing stuff that it's a little bit geeky on, it's on that side, but we also have customers that have small business owners that they don't necessarily know how to set up a WordPress website.

So we are transitioning into that niche as well, where we want to implement solutions for them as quickly as. And as easy as possible without them needing to be experts. And I guess that goes a little bit back to the builders thing that you said initially, builders are out there for that reason as well.

You want people to mock up websites using WordPress without the whole coding stuff and whatnot. So again, it's something that's caters a specific need, and this is something I absolutely liked. About our

[00:41:27] Nathan Wrigley: company, you can find out more about the actual plans. If you go further down a little just basically on the homepage, just slightly down, it's like the second row, you'll be able to see the actual plans.

And then if you go. To the pricing page, which is Green Geeks.com forward slash WordPress dash hosting. You're able to see that the streety has liked it 2 49 pro at 4 95. This is all in dollars and the premium is 8 95 per month. When you begin you'll be able to sign up for a period of time.

Obviously they've got a commitment. With their 300% energy match, the one tree planted, which is just the best, in my opinion, that's the best bit. And so you can sign up over there. I would like to point out from my perspective that I attend a lot of WordPress events and I have my nose buried in the WordPress community.

This is not something that we've mentioned, but just as a person that's in the WordPress community, I do. You all over the place, you are sponsoring events and helping out and being good custodians of the community. So just from my point of view, I'd like to acknowledge that happens.

[00:42:40] Marco Berrocal: I'm also nose into the community as well. But I guess we have met because we're separated by this gigantic ocean, but yeah. W that's you know, working here I I love some of the initiatives that we, as a company have. And like I said, the whole green thing, the planting trees, they're catering to customers, no matter what their expertise level is.

And another thing that we, I absolutely love is that we sponsor these things because we believe, I think it's the ethos of what we're press represents, of pushing the web forward with knowledge of allowing people to grow. Either doesn't matter if they're developer or marketer or whatnot we want to help people out.

But gaining knowledge and becoming better at what they do. And I think that when we sponsor those these types of things be this word camps or events were contributing to that. So it feels very satisfying to know. That our company stands behind those initiatives.

[00:43:49] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Thank you.

I appreciate you coming on and talking to us today, just before we close. I wondered if there was any place where if people wanted to get in touch with you personally, obviously, if you wanted to get in touch with Green Geeks as a whole, you can just go to the website and figure it out from there. But Marco yourself, how would we get in touch with you?

What's the best. The

[00:44:07] Marco Berrocal: best angle is no angle. And I'm just kidding. No. You can reach out to me at my email. It's M as in Marco M Berrocal my last name. That's B E a double R O C a [email protected]. I'm also on Twitter. I my handle is Marco B L 10, and you can reach out to me there.

I'm not very active on Twitter. Why I'm actually, I am. And sometimes it comes off in all. I dunno. Sometimes I think about it.

[00:44:46] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. I know what you mean, but I'll put that in the show notes, if anybody wants to contact you, but but Marco, yeah, thanks very much for joining us on the podcast today.

I really appreciate it. No, thank

[00:44:56] Marco Berrocal: you for having me. It's been a blast. I can't believe almost a 40 minutes.

[00:45:02] Nathan Wrigley: That's always the light. Whenever we start these podcast episodes, everybody always says, wow, we're going to talk for 40 minutes. And at the end, it's always, wow. We talked for 40 minutes and it felt but again, yeah.

Thank you for joining us today. It's a pleasure.

I hope that you enjoyed that episode. It was very nice chatting to mark. I'm sure many of you will be like me. You don't really associate your browsing, your consumption of the internet as having an environmental impact. And maybe by the end of this episode, you've learned a little bit differently and you're going to rethink the way that you do things possibly you could pivot and make yourself into some sort of environmentally friendly agency who create environmentally friendly websites in terms of.

Architecture and the things that you choose, the places that you host and so on. So I'd be very curious if anybody's got any thoughts on that. Give us a comment. Go to WP Builds.com and search for episode number 274. You can leave a comment there or go to WP Builds.com forward slash Facebook, and that will get you into our Facebook group.

And you could leave a comment there by searching for the. Anyway, that's it for this week in a moment, I'm going to fade in some cheesy music, but just to say, I'll be back next week with David Walmsley for a episode chatting about the WordPress business bootcamp, and also back every Monday for our this week in WordPress live show, too.

UK time, WP Builds.com forward slash live. Hope to see you there. Like I say, cheesy music fading in stay safe. Bye for now.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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