You like being environmentally responsible. You enjoy purchasing organic food and finding energy-saving appliances. Maybe you keep the thermostat down and spend a little more on green construction materials or fertilizer. But have you thought about how green your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is? Providing Internet services takes an incredible amount of energy, and there is no downtime when power can be saved. The best Internet providers understand the problem, and the green practices and intentions of providers have a major impact. You can help influence them by picking a provider that puts environmental responsibility high on the list.
Making your tech life green is growing ever-easier with the variety of products and services on the market. So if your idea of the best Internet provider is one that goes green and encourages its users to do the same, take a look at some of the greenest ISPs operating today.
Finding the Best Internet Providers on/for Earth
Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable is one of the largest green-loving ISPs in operation. The company has always put a hefty amount of focus on corporate responsibility. In addition to encouraging high quality education and energy-saving technology, Time Warner Cable has an environmental initiative to help its customers go paperless. By signing up for paperless bill paying and email notices, you can save the energy and raw materials it takes to send out statements — maybe not a big impact, but when combined with thousands of other customers choosing the same option, going paperless starts to matter.
Time Warner Cable has a history of highlighting this paperless aspect of its business, even creating a sweepstakes prize in 2010 for all those who signed up for paperless service. Internally, the company uses “Environment” as one of its four responsibility pillars, investing in environmental footprint assessment and improvement. Time Warner Cable also offers TV and Phone services, along with a number of whole-house integration and business tech services.
Sling Broadband is another big-time ISP that has embraced sustainability. If you are looking for the best Internet provider in the green world, visit Sling’s environmental page and examine its list of energy-saving efforts. The company, based in Florida, is a national High Speed Internet provider that fully endorses paperless billing and Energy Star ratings on its infrastructure equipment. The Energy Star rating is a federal certification that guarantees appliances and tech save energy compared to more traditional brands.
Sling Broadband also takes part in the Green Broadband program, which continually plants indigenous trees throughout the country to combat greenhouse emissions and soil erosion. The company also offers customer-oriented, energy efficient equipment. As an added green bonus, Sling uses bio-fuel and solar power for its emergency backup systems. With its specialization in business networks and services, Sling is a great company for a small business to use.
Red Jellyfish is a green-focused ISP community built from the ground up for environmental sustainability. Choose this service if you are serious about saving energy and do not need lavish online services. The organization offers only dial-up Internet connections, which means slow speeds, but it also makes annual donations to The Nature Conservancy, which works to save rainforests around the world. Despite being a minor operation and only a part of the greater Red Jellyfish community, the Internet services are offered at 2,500 locations across the nation. Prices, as you might expect, are in the low-end at around $20 per month, making savings easy on your side.
Choosing a service like the one offered by Red Jellyfish means serious commitment to global sustainability, but it can work well if you only use home-based Internet for simple tasks. You can also use Wireless Internet hotspots, phone data plans, and other options to supplement Red Jellyfish if its services are not quite enough.
Like Red Jellyfish, EcoISP is a provider specializing in simple Internet connections for people who care more about sustainability than data speed. Unlike Red Jellyfish, the entire EcoISP organization is devoted to Internet access. When you sign up, the company donates a portion of each monthly payment it receives to a nonprofit environmental organization — and you get to choose which one! The company also provides reports on total donations and the general fundraising potential. If you want to switch your chosen nonprofit to a better organization, EcoISP allows you to make the move whenever you want.
While this flexible approach is great for green tech, you still have to accept the slower dial-up speeds to join. Prices start at $17.95 and service includes information on eco-friendly shopping and access to forums where you can chat with like-minded users.