How your shitty portfolio is killing the environment

Applying design principles to your website to save the environment.

25. January 2020, 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
servus Clubraum

In the course of the workshop we analyzed the current situation, in which as it emerges from various studies, the IT infrastructure alone is responsable for about 4% of greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale.

To try to solve the problem we tried to apply the design principles suggested by the Low Tech Magazine project to our portfolios.

Before starting the real hands-on, we explained the complexity of trying to calculate energy consumption and CO2 emissions. But we tried it anyway, keeping as scale the simple KWh/Gb ratio. As a method, we rely on the model of Weber et al. (2010) which places my energy intensity at 7kWh / GB. As location we decided to choose Linz, pretending to host our website in the servus infrastructure, which leads us to consider an Austrian CO2 emission factor of 85.1g co2/Kwh.

Photo by Fabian Frei

Depending on the interest of the participants, two groups were formed, on the one hand there were people interested in creating a portfolio site using a lighter CMS than those used on a large scale, on the other hand a group of people who already had an online portfolio, and with them we compressed all the media (photos and videos) on the site,

With the first group we created a local installation of Kirby, a flat-file cms that weighs only 6kb. We took a look at the structure of the site on how it is composed in subfolders, and briefly analyzed the markup language.

With the second group, we analyzed how much the portofolio weighed at the beginning of the workshop, then later through dithering techniques or lighter compressions for the images, or through software like HandBrake for video compression, we reduced the weight of the media on the site. In the end we recalculated the weight of the site and therefore to produce less emissions.