Low-Tech Magazine have recently launched a solar-powered website in their quest for using technology in a truly sustainable way. From the author’s Barcelonan home, an off-grid solar PV system provides the 1-2.5 watts of power required to run the host.
To reduce the energy use, default typefaces and dithered images are used to reduce the processing power required to run the website. Offline reading options are available, and the team behind this project aim to offer print-on-demand copies of the website soon so no direct digital technology is used to read the site’s content.
To help visitors “plan” their visits to Low-tech Magazine, we provide them with several clues such as a battery meter and a weather forecast.
This new website aims to replace Low Tech Magazine’s previous website which was in need of design change, and this project fits with the organisation’s mission. Founded in 2007, the magazine “questions the blind belief in technological progress”, discussing the potential used of past techniques and forgotten technologies to create a more sustainable society.
This is a fully sustainable website, running solely from an off-grid solar panel. Therefore, the website is unavailable during periods of prolonged cloud. To help visitors ‘plan’ their visit to the website, a number of aids are provided. The background colour level changes as the capacity of the solar charged battery powering the website changes, and a three-day weather forecast is provided and updated daily.
As this website requires so little energy to process and load, it also runs extremely well on older computers and less reliable internet connections. Therefore, this model could be applied to less economically developed countries, where solar power could power a site which can be accessed by those locally with older technologies. This website is also mobile friendly and so can be accessed by less power-hungry devices.
This project can be supported on PayPal, Patreon and LiberaPay, so that the project can expand and continue. As this is a static site, meaning no complex coding is in operation, advertisement opportunities are only in the form of a static banner with a link to the advertiser’s website. Any advertisers partnered, however, must be compatible with the site’s mission. You can view the website here.