Recommendations for a Green Web for Users

Configure the Web Browser

The former sections focused on the web designers’ and administrators’ options to reduce network traffic and thus power consumption. As was mentioned, administrators have no possibility to influence the browser configuration directly, like e.g. forcing the browser to cache delivered content according to the corresponding HTTP response header fields. Web users can also contribute a large part to the reduction of network traffic and power consumption by configuring the caching capabilities of their web browsers in a way that far future expiry dates can take effect, or by installing web browsers that are fully compatible with GZIP based HTTP compression. Furthermore, there is a lot of advertisement on web pages today that causes additional, but avoidable network traffic.

Thus, we recommend that one should

  • configure large caches in Web browsers
  • not clear caches during browser shutdown
  • use browsers supporting GZIP compression
  • use advertisement blockers to block advertisement images and Flash

Visualize Green Power Status of a Website

In order to assess whether a website is hosted with renewable energies, tools like the "Power Indicator" (Naumann 2008b) can help users by visualizing the "green power state" of a website.

Apply "Green IT" on the Client Side

Of course, users of a website also have the possibility to obtain renewable energies within their companies or households. It is also recommended to utilize the available energy management options of client computers.

References

  • Naumann, S., Gresk, S. & Schäfer, K., 2008b. How Green is the Web? Visualizing the Power Quality of Websites. In: Möller, A., Page, B. & Schreiber, M. eds., 2008. EnviroInfo 2008. Environmental Informatics and Industrial Ecology, 22nd International Conference on Environmental Informatics. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, pp. 62-65.

Acknowledgements

This text has been published by INSTICC Press:

  • Dick, Markus; Naumann, Stefan; Held, Alexandra: Green Web Engineering. A Set of Principles to Support the Development and Operation of "Green" Websites and their Utilization during a Website’s Life Cycle. Filipe, Joaquim; Cordeiro, José (eds.): WEBIST 2010 : Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies, April 7 - 10, 2010, Valencia, Spain, Volume 1. Setúbal: INSTICC Press, 2010, pp. 48 - 55.