Mindsparkle Site of the Day


If you're reading this chances are...

You're looking to make your corporate carbon footprint more sustainable.

Maybe you're a fellow developer or UX/UI designer (hello), or maybe you've just switched off David Attenborough's latest episode on ice cap destruction and feel inspired to make a change.


What's the




We can tell what you're thinking:

God, it's just a website, is that destroying the planet as well?

The short answer is YES.

Everything you do in any area of life will have an emission attached to it and the IT sector is a surprisingly large contributor.

7% of global electricity

According to Greenpeace (2017), the IT sector is already estimated to consume 7% of global electricity, a figure which has no doubt rapidly increased in recent years in the wake of social media usage and its ingrained use in everyday life. The hard truth is that every post, click and scroll has an impact.

Over 50M tons of e-waste was produced in 2019 alone

A number that has been steadily rising by 8% each year.

Waste of this kind is becoming just as dangerous as polluting waterways and landfills, now producing more greenhouse gases than even the airline industry (American Chemical Society, 2013).

Who Is Sustainable Web Design?


At it's most basic level we can break it down into 6 key areas, in an acronym we've aptly named…



Powered by renewable energy and green servers.


Sustainable design doesn't have to be a chore… Get it?

If you're ready to commit to a more sustainable e-footprint, then you can sign the Sustainable Web Manifesto here.

SW Manifesto

So,How Do We Do It?

There are four main strategies for a greener website design: Design, Content, Development and Hosting:

Design Development Content Hosting


User Journeys

Why is that person on your website in the first place, and how can we make their journey as efficient as possible?

This is all about removing barriers for them, such as unnecessary popups, or avoiding things like 'dark patterns'.


Video and Animation

Yes, they make your website look very interesting, but they're also some of the largest energy users out there, comprising of 63% of global internet traffic in 2015 (Greenpeace, 2017), a figure that is only expected to rise.

This is especially true when using autoplay, as videos that are instantly rolling when you click onto a site are using energy regardless of whether the user wants or needs to view the file.

When you use a video file, it should add genuine value to the user journey. Does this make their life easier? If the answer is no, then you are the Weakest Link… Goodbye.



Now, we love a custom font more than the average Joe, but it's important to remember that they can drastically increase the size of web pages.

A single font can be as much as 250kb, and each differing version (e.g. italic, bold) can add another 250kb on top of that! No, your entire website doesn't need to be in Comic Sans, but where possible designers should work with system fonts and only use custom fonts for particular design elements (e.g. headers).

Fonts that are already integrated into a user's device will decrease the load time and energy consumption of your site, especially when using Google fonts as these are web optimised and better for performance.



This is a hard pill to swallow: Images take up most of the file size on websites.

Decreasing image use can improve performance and energy use, so it's important to optimise them for the web, especially when scaling for different devices. In our opinion, it's all about balance - You can have a good looking site without stuffing it full of images, that's where a designer comes in.



You've all seen dark mode on your phone, and the good news is that darker colours require less energy to illuminate, with certain apps such as Google Maps using as much as 63% less screen energy in night mode (Phone Arena, 2018).

White is the most energy intensive colour to use online, with certain other colours, like blue pixels, using considerably more energy than red and green pixels.

If we can keep your site as clean as possible, you're onto a winner. Certain brands, such as The British Museum and Spotify, have integrated darker digital schemes into their identity, becoming iconic for their use of lighter-coloured copy.


Back End Management

The web experience on the organisation's side should also be kept as efficient as possible, simplifying content management and admin processes to save on energy usage by your own team members.

Similarly, back end management should allow for easy review and removal of outdated content, reducing energy consumption in data storage.

It's also a plus for you guys: Our Spidey Senses tell us that you probably want a website that is easy and efficient to manage.



Using reusable code where possible for generic interactions can reduce the carbon emissions of the development team. That's right, we want to be as eco as you too!


Device Optimisation

Sites that are responsive to different device sizes, browsers and technologies increase the speed of user journeys.

Standards-Based Development is one option to follow that ensures accessibility across devices and platforms.


Progressive Web App

An alternative to mobile applications, PWAs have short loading times, use less device storage and retain key information on a user's device. What's not to love?


Data Collection

Unnecessary data collection has to be stored somewhere, resulting in more wasted energy usage.

By 2040, storing digital data is set to create 14% of the world's emissions, with around 40% of currently total energy consumed by data centres solely dedicated to cool the IT equipment (Frick, 2016).

There are various ways to start looking at data collection, e.g. storing and regularly checking analytics for 3 months instead of a longer 18 month period.



Content that allows users to make quicker decisions can reduce wasted energy and time on-site.

Yes, you want to engage and retain your users, but not with content that's unclear or requires a degree to decipher.



Both SEO and onsite search features will reduce time wasted by users on your site. They are there with a goal in mind and it's our job to get them there as easily as possible.


Content Management

Reviewing and removing content that is no longer relevant will reduce energy consumption and storage. Not everyone needs to see those seven year old christmas party pics, it's okay to take them down. Let them go Janet, LET THEM GO.



Amazon Web Services are the most broadly adopted sustainable data centres on the market, lowering the carbon footprints of customers by nearly 80% compared to surveyed enterprise data centres (Amazon, 2022).

Serverless technologies are part of the offering from AWS, allowing developers to build and manage sites without having to manage servers.

With serverless hosting your code isn't running all the time, and is instead only spun up when somebody is using your site.

If you only have infrequent traffic, it can be a good way to reduce your energy usage and costs.


Google Cloud

An alternative to AWS, Google Cloud is a carbon neutral hosting solution with various Click to Deploy solutions that can be implemented quickly and easily.

Converse to AWS, Google Cloud's carbon neutral status places them as one of, if not, the most environmentally friendly server hosts in the business.


Green Servers

Powered by renewable energy sources (did someone say solar panels?), Green Servers will host your site with less of a negative environmental impact.

Green Geeks are the current leading provider, sitting at a very affordable rate and having given back three times the power they consume since 2008 (Green Geeks, 2022).

Kualo is an alternative, powered by 100% renewable energy and an EPA Green Power Partner. They are also based in the UK (hello neighbour) so would make a good local Data Centre (we'll get onto that in a minute).



That's right, even those little bursts of bot traffic are using energy on your site. If you wanna be a bad b*tch, you gotta block that bot traffic!


Tech Stack

Using the latest technologies will require less energy processing, for example HTML5 and CSS3 Web Standards for Green Servers, or WebVR and OSVR Open Source Frameworks for VR.


Data Centres

Selecting data storage centres close to your users is a great way to reduce data transmission energies.


Want To Know
What We Think?

Unlikely, but on the off chance you want our opinion, we believe that it's all about striking a balance.

You can have a consciously designed website that reduces your carbon footprint, but also leaves room for innovation and creativity.

Sustainable web design will never be a 'one size fits all', but can we work with you to ensure you're being as golden as possible? Absolutely.

What Can I Do
Today & Going

Right then, this sexy and mysterious voice on the internet has imparted some wisdom, so what can I do about it today?

We're glad you asked.

There are a plethora of short-term solutions to get you started on the right path, from offsetting through platforms such as Ecologi to deleting those giant video files that are stored in your archive.

It's also a good idea to start questioning your own site: How much data do you store that isn't relevant? How do you share assets internally and with clients? Can you replace internal services and software with alternatives from other eco-friendly brands, e.g. Slack? Drop us a message through the link at the bottom of this page and we can get you all the info you need!


Wow, you're now one step closer to a better carbon footprint, David Attenborough would be so proud.

There are plenty of carbon calculators and website graders online to help evaluate the environmental impact of your current site, so drop us a line if you have any questions!

How green is your website?