Sanyo has constructed what I would call a beautifully designed building in Japan. This building, known as the Solar Ark, not only collects solar power but also aims to educate visitors about solar power and its history. Buildings like this are critical in expanding solar use in conventional buildings. By showcasing how solar has been effectively used while still remaining aesthetically pleasing, I think Sanyo is not only making it acceptable to go, but fashionable. I hope more corporations can take a cue from this and implement it.
I don’t want to be dismissive of those that have implemented (or are in the process of doing so) solar power. Hewlett-Packard is transforming its head quarters to solar. Google not only uses solar but has spelled its plans for pushing a lot of money into renewable energy (to the effect, they hope, that those technologies will be cheaper than conventional fossil fuels). Even Wal-Mart has tested renewable energy concepts in a couple of its stores (not really enough in comparison to the massive footprint the world’s largest retailer holds but a start).
You can see the Solar Ark in the gallery or learn more about it at the Sanyo Solar Ark site. If you’re visiting Japan, you can also visit the Ark to see the museum or check out the cafe. A bullet train also passes by.
If your business is already environmentally friendly or working to get there, consider moving your website over to a host that shares the same values. Green web hosts rely on sustainable renewable energy sources to power their servers. Typically they also have a backup generator or are connected to the grid in the event something happens. That way you get the same reliability with a green host as you would any other.
Other hosts can’t always work well off of renewable energy. Often they are in regions incompatible with wind power or solar panels. However, they offset their usage by purchasing carbon credits.
Also be sure to choose a server that runs Linux or FreeBSD. Open Source tends to be more reliable than its closed source counter parts and is often free.
- AISO.net relies completely on solar power. They run Windows and Linux servers. Plans start at $10/month.
- ThinkHost uses solar and wind power. Their employees telecommute to further cut any potential emissions. They use a FreeBSD (think Unix) server. Hosting starts at $7.95 per month.
- RackSpace doesn’t push the green aspect of their business like the others do. I’m not sure they even use green power. However, they do plant a tree for every server sold and that’s worth mentioning.
- Sustainable Websites uses 100% wind power. They utilize Red Hat Linux and CentOS to power their servers. Plans start at $10/month.
If you’re a green web host seeking a little free advertising, let me know. This site gets around 30 hits a day so its reasonable advertising. I know that there must be more than four green hosts on the Internet, I just can’t find them.
Solar Electrical Vehicles offers a kit to convert your existing Prius into a solar powered (well, not totally) car. They claim to get 20 miles per day in total electric mode. Makes pretty good sense to me. I drive about 2 miles one way to work. On that basis, most days I would never have to
burn gas to get anywhere.