Tech Tips to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint (Guest Post)
When we think about living a greener lifestyle, we're often reminded of the three R's: reduce, reuse, and recycle. These principles are taught to kids in school from a young age. With the growing adaptation of new technologies, there are additional ways to become more eco-friendly. If you're looking to go green, these tech tips can help you reduce your carbon footprint.
Adopt Smart Home Technologies
Smart home technologies are devices in your home that all connect to a network. These home automation devices allow you to remotely monitor and control the appliances and systems in your home. Using your smartphone, you can turn lights on and off, adjust your heating, and see how much energy your appliances are using. Many devices are also able to communicate with each other and automatically adjust their settings as needed.
A simple place to start with smart home technologies is installing smart thermostats like the Nest. Smart thermostats are eco-friendly and can help you save money on energy costs. Many thermostat users don't take full advantage of their programmable thermostats, wasting money and energy on heating and cooling when their home is unoccupied. The Nest thermostat can eliminate this problem by learning your household temperature patterns and processes, keeping energy use at optimal levels at all times. A more economical option is the Honeywell Lyric T5 which, while lacking some of the features from pricier models, is easy to install and supports voice commands.
Install LED Lights
LED lighting is growing in popularity. Stouch Lighting explains that these types of bulbs are more eco-friendly than compact fluorescent and incandescent lighting. They also last longer and emit less heat. You'll likely make fewer trips to the store to buy replacements for bulbs that have burned out, and pay less on your utility bills every month.
When making the switch to LEDs, one suggestion is to start with the light fixtures that you use the most. These may be the lights in your living room, bedroom, or kitchen. Consider the function for each light — you can get LEDs at varying levels of brightness. You may want softer lights for the bedroom and brighter lights for the kitchen. LEDs also come in a variety of colors to set the mood for each room.
Once your most essential lights are replaced, try experimenting with LED strip lights to illuminate specific areas in your house, such as kitchen counters, shelves, and cabinets. These low-profile, flexible lights can be cut to any size you want to add extra character to your home.
Switch to Smart Power Strips
Even when a device is in standby mode, it consumes energy. This is energy that you're not making use of, and many households are wasting money through leaving devices plugged in on standby mode. To save money and energy, try converting to smart power strips.
HowStuffWorks explains that smart power strips can save energy and reduce costs. If your devices are plugged into a smart power strip, the power to those devices can be turned off when they're not in use.
These power strips work in different ways. For some, you can plug in one device as a control. The other devices that are plugged in won't receive power when the control device is off. You don't need your video game console when the television is off, for example. Other smart power strips have connected apps where you can monitor power usage and turn devices on or off. Some offer surge and leakage protection as well.
Innovations in eco-friendly technology are continuing to advance. As you take a look at your own lifestyle, consider ways that technology can help you reduce your carbon footprint. With smart home technologies, LED lighting, and smart power strips, these greener options are becoming more readily available to the average consumer. Through adopting these simple and environmentally friendly technologies, you'll save money while doing your part to save the planet.
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