Over the past week Gavin Dudeney from TCE (The Consultants-e) has been working hard to bring us this wonderful new website. We’d like to say a huge thank you to him for all his hard work – and endless patience. We’re loving the new look and we hope you’ll find it easier and quicker to use. All the same features are here: the blog, the search box, the categories, the pages with materials, useful links and other resources. The only thing that’s changed is the address, which is now eltfootprint.org.
But why did we make the move? There were two main motivators: 1 we wanted a name and a domain of our own which was free of advertising 2 we wanted to make our site greener.
When we first opened our blog it was very much a work in progress, put together pretty quickly to offer a space for people to follow ELT Footprint away from Facebook. We choose a free WordPress theme that allowed us to create static pages to house things like our Materials section and the Work in Progress projects. But, of course, there’s no such thing as a free theme, and the price we paid was having no control over the adverts that could pop-up on our readers’ screens. We weren’t really happy with that. First of all, the whole idea of targetted ads driving consumerism is obviously something we don’t want to condone, secondly, they could be advertising all kinds of things we don’t want to endorse (Nestlé, Amazon, cheap flights, etc) and thirdly, tying in with point 2 above, they add to our online carbon footprint.
Point 2 is more complex. As we know, all online activity carries a pretty hefty carbon footprint and our community relies almost totally on our online communications. But, as with energy, water, food, there are ways we can reduce our footprint, and that’s what we wanted to explore. Gavin helped us pick out a relatively green server in DreamHost (I say relatively as there is no 100% green solution) and has built a light website which is quick to upload. We’re going with a style that is light on images (images having a larger footprint than text). We aren’t hosting video or audio files, but linking to other sites instead. This may just be passing the buck, as retrieving those files is carbon-heavy too. We need to explore this whole field a lot more and would welcome any comments or ideas on the topic – or in fact a blog post. If you feel like contributing one, please just let us know!
While the website has been under construction, blog posts have been queuing up on the ELT Footprint virtual desk. We’ll be posting them over the next week or two. We have posts from TESOL France, ELT Sustainable, OUP and more. You’re in for some real treats!