The topic of being green/sustainable/eco-friendly is something we think about often at Creative Slice as we try to lessen our impact on the environment. We’ve found many of our clients share this desire to be conscious of the environment and over the past 3 years even mainstream corporations have been shifting to a more green approach to satisfy both environmental concerns and their customers desire to be associated with green/good organizations.
A few months ago I did a short presentation titled “Green Web Design” for AD2 Tucson which covered the basics of green design, encouraging attendees to be more environmentally responsible designers. The presentation began with a short clip of Kermit the Frog singing Bein’ Green followed by exploration into 3 topics to try and answer the questions: What is a green company? What is a green website?
#1 Go green by doing more online
- Save energy by replacing in-person meetings and travel with online tools like Skype, IM, Webex, Gotomeeting, etc.
- Reduce Printing by using web forms for quick feedback and tracking digitally. PDF’s are a step better than printing (especially when people read them on tablets) but not as good as web forms.
- Paper-less management. Improve efficiency, organization and be more green using online organizational tools like Basecamp, Salesforce, Freshbooks, Freeagent, etc.
- Digital Billing. Improve conversion rates and remove hassle using online methods like Paypal, Authorize.net and Google Checkout.
- Build websites, not brochures for promotion. A website has dynamic current content, interactive features, and allows one-click sharing which makes any message easy to go viral to hundreds and even millions of people.
#2 Be a Green Designer
Make green choices for yourself and your clients
- Green web hosting. Self sufficient (AISO.net) vs carbon offsetting
- Save Energy by becoming aware of power usage and waste with a Kill-a-Watt meter, LED bulbs and GreenWatts electricity.
- Transportation. Cycling, walking, bus, proximity to work instead of driving 100% of the time.
- Work Environment. Through telecommuting you can work from anywhere and should not be tied to a corporate office every day.
- Co-working office spaces, like Spoke6 in Tucson, give you shared resources and the chance to work with like-minded people. “Saving the planet together”
- Be a master of efficiency. Make your website save paper and let customers be more efficient with Mobile themes, SEO, Google Local, Online Reviews, Application Forms, etc.
#3 Be a Green Beacon
Educate others and promote green choices
- Watch out for greenwashing. Be authentic.
- Creative Slice has started a Green Choice program to promote green choices for our clients. Making the choice is 1/2 the battle, by demonstrating your choices you can inspire, connect and attract others.
- Show off your green choices and associations and let them promote you. 1% for planet, local first az, green america, etc.
- Green Marketing. Green is great for marketing, people WANT to be good/green. Let them know they can be that way by working with you.
- The web is a gateway to other green practices. Awareness is the first step and can grow throughout a business
- Be conscious. A green company is one that is conscious of the environment. Be aware of consequences and improve through understanding.
This presentation generated a strong discussion about what it means to be green and helped serve as a starting point for those in attendance who were just starting to become more eco-friendly and green designers. Please leave a comment below with your thoughts on Green Website Design.