There are a lot of people producing a lot of great environmentally friendly content on the internet these days. People like Mark Harris at Awareness Toolkits, one of a small group of folks committed to finding ways to live more sustainably and to pass that information on to the rest of us. Mark reached out to me about writing this post — which you’ll note is chock full of terrific ideas — but you can contact the folks at Awareness Toolkits for help with anything environmental and they’ll research it for you. Yes, it truly is a wonderful world. Thanks, Mark.
I trust you will find the following most helpful. Feel free to share liberally and enjoy!
pam lazos 2.9.20
How to Use Technology at Home for a Greener World
by Mark Harris
Everywhere we look, we are confronted with the threat of global warming and pollution and reminded that we are leaving our grandchildren an unstable and unhealthy environment. We all want to have a greener, healthier lifestyle, but many of us are afraid we’ll have to give up the techno-gadgets that are so important to our work and home life.
Fortunately, that isn’t necessary. There are myriad technological advancements that do not harm the environment at all, and some even help us live a greener lifestyle.
Smart thermostats help you save money and energy by connecting to the internet so you can adjust them from anywhere. Smart thermostats like the Nest Learning Thermostat learn your heating and cooling routine and apply your preferences to the system, so you stay comfortable all the time without lifting a finger. Another useful thermostat is Ecobee’s newest model which provides energy and usage reports and can work with many smart home platforms. Smart thermostats save energy and money because they only work when necessary, and on top of that, you can adjust your thermostat from your phone if you’re getting home late or are on vacation.
Power Strips and Surge Protectors
As Temple University explains, a lot of energy is wasted by the phenomenon of vampire waste, also known as phantom energy use. This colloquial term refers to how electrical gadgets will draw electricity when not in use. Plugging into a surge protector or power strip instead of the wall will prevent phantom energy use.
Some power strips connect to the internet allowing you to turn things off remotely. Stop televisions, microwaves, and computers from draining energy and raising the electric bill with a simple power strip.
According to Forbes, 91 percent of disposable water bottles are not recycled, adding tons of waste in United States landfills every year. These discarded bottles damage the natural ecosystem in several ways. They destroy the natural habitats of wildlife and pollute the oceans and waterways as well.
A simple solution is to drink tap water. There are a plethora of technological water filters available commercially. They filter particles of debris from tap water as well as chlorine and mineral deposits leaving you with great-tasting filtered water for only pennies on the bottle. Add a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated when on the go.
The incandescent light bulbs we have traditionally used are huge energy monsters. LED lights on the other hand are extreme energy savers. Although traditional bulbs are considerably less expensive at the onset, LED lights save much more in the long run. According to Scherer Electric, the cost of using a halogen or incandescent light for a year is $6.02 compared to $1.26 for a year of LED lighting.
Not only do LED lights save money, but they offer a slew of other benefits such as a range of colors and brightness. You can also connect them to your smart home system and control your home lighting remotely.
Thermal Leak Detector
An airtight home naturally saves you money and energy use. With that in mind, look to thermal leak detectors to show you where heat is leaking out of your home. Use it to check around ducts, windows, and doors as well as other insulated places that are vulnerable. Simply scan the area in question and watch as the detector turns red for warm or blue for cool. These nifty gadgets can also be used to check the effectiveness of freezers, refrigerators, and even your vehicle’s coolant system.
Boosting the insulation in your home can stretch energy savings even further and help you make the most of that energy you’re holding in your four walls.
It doesn’t seem possible, but our everyday technology can be used to make the world a greener, healthier place. From saving energy to cutting down on pollution, there are many ways to use technology for a greater good. Together, we can make a difference.
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