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Why The New .Green Domain Name Is An Idea Thankfully Past Its Time

Being green used to be progressive. Now it’s a meaningless word used by companies that are insecure about their greenness.

Why The New .Green Domain Name Is An Idea Thankfully Past Its Time
[Illustrations: maxim ibragimov via Shutterstock]

If you’re considering a new website, there’s a new domain name option to add to suffixes like .biz, .porn, .tattoo, .plumbing, and the rest. If your thing is green, you could choose .green.

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But then why would you? There are several reasons why “.green” might be an unimaginative move in this day and age. It smacks of scoring points when green should be part of what organizations do anyway. At minimum, there are surely better ways to draw attention to your environmentally friendly venture.

First, though, the case for .green.

“It’s a home for all of things that represent the shift to a greener lifestyle,” says Annalisa Roger, founder of the DotGreen Community, which owns the suffix along with a domain registry in Ireland called Afilias. “Companies are making this shift to green, so they can have their name be .green also, and start reflecting their innovative business strategies.”


Roger points to surveys showing companies developing environmental initiatives and consumers wanting to buy greener products. “Consumers are looking for values-driven products, so if you have a .green domain name your company name is going to pop above the masses,” she says.

You can apply for a .green name now, but before March 14 if anyone else wants the same name, they’ll have equal rights and you’ll have to outbid your rival to get the domain. After March 24, it’ll be first come-first served. Roger expects the names to cost between $79-$99, which is slightly more than other domains.

To sweeten the offer, a share of each purchase and renewal goes to the Dot Green Foundation, which runs environmental initiatives and has a partnership with Earth Share, a well-established nonprofit. Roger says that was one of the main reasons she wanted to set up the domain.

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The problem is this may be an idea whose time has passed. Ten years ago, setting up a .green domain may have made sense; so few companies were doing green things. These days .green seems passé and somewhat meaningless. After all, what exactly does “green” mean? It may denote a shift to environmental action, a colloquial word for dollars, or perhaps something other than blue or yellow.

It’s also the case that anybody can be green. Roger has no filtering process to wheedle the many, many people who claim environmental consciousness while ruining the planet. In fact, it’s a good bet that .green will appeal most to people who are insecure about their greenness and feel the need to compensate. Those who are genuinely green will be green anyway and won’t feel the need to set up a new site to tell the world about it.

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About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.

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