Consumers are increasingly thinking about the environmental impact of the products they buy and choosing to both buy different products and shop differently in order to reduce their environmental footprint. The desire to live a more “green” lifestyle is also leading many consumers to look more closely at the companies and brands they interact with.
While a lot of attention is given to physical goods and services, there is also growing consideration of the environmental impact of digital technology and the resources used to support it.
Building a Website for Environmentally-Friendly Consumers
If you’re building a website to appeal to environmentally-friendly consumers, then you should try your best to make the site green friendly, as well as, customer friendly. Your options will vary depending on the content management system you’re using but there are plugins and extensions you can use to be more green.
Below are some plugins (called modules in Drupal) that can help you create a website designed for environmentally-friendly consumers. We’ll start by looking at ways to reduce the amount of energy your site uses, and then look at ways to make the site more appealing.
Save Energy by Speeding Things Up
Reducing page load times and the amount of data that has to be transferred is a straightforward way to minimize energy use. Here are three plugins you can use to make reduce the amount of power both your site and your users need. Speeding up your site will also improve the user experience.
AMP allows your site to use the Accelerated Mobile Pages protocol that Google has adopted to media load faster on mobile devices. This module is unique because it’s specifically designed to serve a more mobile-friendly version of pages to Google users.
It’s easy to forget that much of the world depends on mobile devices as their main way of accessing the Internet. Using this plugin will help reduce energy use amongst mobile users around the world.
Picture lets you set custom sizes for images depending on the screen resolution. This is important because downloading images is one of the biggest drains on bandwidth and device power. You can reduce the power consumption of site visitors by setting your images sizes for the different screen resolutions rather than making everyone download the same big images.
Show Consumers How Green You Are
It’s great that you’re making sure your site is eco-friendly. Using Drupal green hosting, plus the plugins mentioned above will mean that both your website and your visitors are using as little power as possible. The only downside is that all this stuff isn’t really visible to visitors. Sure they’ll have the positive experience, but none of this stuff makes it obvious how environmentally friendly your site is.
Below are a few plugins, you can use to make your commitment to the environment completely obvious. An environmentally-friendly consumer will notice these little touches and it will help you gain their trust.
If your site has a blog or other content about climate change, then Climate Tagger is a great way to educate your visitors and show your commitment to being eco-friendly.
The plugin adds tags to pages from a global database of climate changed related tags. You can configure which tags you want to use and which content can be tagged. You also have the option of letting your administrator manually tag items or setup auto-tagging with important terms.
If you support an environmental organization, then you can help them raise money by having a donate button on your site.
The PayPal Donations plugin it makes it easy to request donations on your site. It’s easy to setup and can be added to almost any template. Having a highly-visible donation button on your site will let visitors know that you are actively trying to help improve the environment by giving money to important causes.
GMAP lets you integrate your Drupal site with the Google Maps API. You can use it to creative interactive maps with icons, images, links and more. Once you have the plugin working, it’s easy to setup maps that highlight the countries where your products come from or to teach visitors about important environment sites like the Great Barrier Reef.
Integrating this plugin into your site will give a powerful tool for convincing visitors that you really care about the environment.
Being Environmentally Friendly Can Be Good Business
Designing a site for environmentally-friendly consumers might take a lot more effort than creating other sites, but it’s worth it if you’re really trying to reach “green” consumers. Take the time to make sure that your site is energy-efficient and that it promotes environmental causes, and you’ll find that you gain loyal customers.