Reducing your consumption is the best thing you can do for the environment. Many of us are making little steps to combat climate change. These smart home technologies can also help you lower your carbon footprint. Electrical systems and equipment that have been in use for a long time are not very environmentally friendly.
This necessitates the development of better-designed equipment by developers who are aware of the need to reduce carbon emissions. This is when smart devices demonstrate their value. With the rise of smart technology and smart systems, there have been a lot of creative devices made that can help us use less energy in our homes, making them greener and more sustainable than ever before.
What exactly is a carbon footprint?
The entire amount of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, produced each time we do something is referred to as a “carbon footprint.” These gases are then trapped within our atmosphere’s “greenhouse,” warming the planet and contributing significantly to global warming. Many of these gases are produced naturally, but we are increasing our contribution through fossil fuel burning, deforestation, and raising animals.
According to research, houses account for 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. It’s important to keep carbon emissions down to 2 tons per person by 2050 if we want to avoid major climate change.
What steps are IT companies taking to reduce their carbon footprint?
Within the last few years, going “green” has become a major emphasis for businesses. Consumers expect businesses to be more considerate in how they operate their facilities, develop their products, and treat their workers. Microsoft is already carbon neutral, with the goal of becoming carbon negative in the next ten years. Being “net-zero” is difficult, but it is possible with the help of carbon offsets.
Carbon offsetting is investing in projects that offset a carbon footprint by lowering CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, such as reforestation and renewable energy development. By utilizing renewable energy sources, Apple has lowered its carbon footprint by 35% in the last five years. Many of their products use recycled components, including the recycled aluminum casings on the Macbook Air and Mac mini.
Despite being chastised in the past, Samsung has been recognized as one of the top achievers in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) program. Samsung collects and recycles about 100 million pounds of e-waste in the United States each year.
The Three R’s
Let’s start with the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Then, we’ll talk about some practical ways to use technology to help the environment.
The three Rs apply to the IT business just as they do to other industries.
Reduce the frequency with which you change equipment. Upgrade your Xbox’s hard drive, replace the battery in your iPhone, or increase the RAM in your laptop.
Donate your old electronics to charity or trade them in for a discount on a newer one.
Even if you won’t purchase from them, many high-street and internet services accept electronic gadgets. Rather than ending up in landfills, some electronic components can be recycled.
Here are five of the best smart devices that can significantly minimize your carbon footprint.
Installing solar panels
This is one of the best options to lower your electricity bill, and it offers a simple, all-in-one solution. A single panel, a power inverter, and an 11-amp charge controller are included in the package. You may connect the panel to the power inverter, which terminates in a pair of normal grounded outlets, once it’s mounted on your roof.
When the sun is shining, you can use the outlets to charge any electronic device up to 300 watts (chargers, small appliances, a TV). Whenever you need this solar panel, even if the sun isn’t shining, you’ll need to have a battery to store the electricity you generate.
More on Home Gadget Geeks Podcast —
The eco capsule
Ecocapsule is a self-contained, self-sustaining micro-unit that runs on solar and wind energy. It enables you to stay in isolated locations without access to infrastructure while enjoying the comforts of a hotel room. Ecocapsule is your design path to self-sufficiency.
It can be transformed into a cottage, a pop-up hotel, a mobile office, a research station, or whatever else you desire. This is a stylish and practical way to live a more self-sufficient and simple existence in a tiny space. It’s only 6.3 square meters inside, yet it provides everything you need, including a kitchen, bath, and bed.
It also has solar panels and a wind turbine for power, but the best part is that it is completely portable.
Smart lighting and bulbs
Indoor lights are among the most energy-intensive aspects of the ordinary American household. Smart bulbs, which are internet-enabled LED lamps that can be set and operated remotely, can significantly reduce this. When the room is unattended, motion sensors in smart bulbs turn them off instantly.
Smart light bulbs are one of the easiest and most cost-effective changes to make. Simply replace your ordinary light bulbs, particularly incandescent lights, with LEDs and save up to 80% on electricity use. Although they are costlier than standard lightbulbs, you will save money on your electricity bill. You may use a voice assistant like Alexa or an app to control smart lighting devices.
Motion detectors, dimmers, and timers can be used to turn lights on and off depending on the time of day. These options can be used as part of a home security system as well as to save energy. By merging it with voice-controlled technology, you can easily regulate its intensity or dimness.
Furthermore, unlike incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, smart LED lights contain built-in characteristics that make them longer-lasting. They can also be charged and will last for five to six hours in the event of a power outage. Set your lights to come on in the evenings to give the impression that someone is home.
Use an evaporative cooler to stay cool.
These are one of the most underutilized home cooling options, and they use far less energy than air conditioners. These devices function by evaporating water in a tiny tank and blowing it out through a fan. This cooling method can reduce the temperature of your room by up to 15 degrees, which is astounding given that it consumes 90% less energy than the air conditioner we propose.
However, its effectiveness will be determined by your humidity level and your capacity to open a window for cross ventilation. You won’t have as much control over how cool your room is, but you’ll save a lot of money on electricity compared to using an air conditioner. You could literally run this fan all day and yet be more ecologically conscious than if you slept with an air conditioner on.
Also consider —
A laptop bag with a voltaic generator
This harvests sunlight and stores it in an integrated battery. While solar-powered backpacks have been available for a while, this is the first to use only a day’s worth of sunlight to generate enough electricity to charge a laptop up to 17 watts. If you need to charge your phone or MP3 player, you can use one of the adapters, the USB port, or the built-in 12-volt car charger.
This is the same as the previous, less powerful models. The bag can accommodate up to 17-inch notebooks and is constructed completely of recycled soda bottles. It’s costly, but Voltaic gives us the opportunity to work forever at a park or on the road without having to charge our laptops.
Contribute by living a more energy-efficient life.
Smart home systems can change not only your lifestyle but also your energy usage with these technologies. It can look for ways to improve user behavior patterns using smart monitoring equipment and regular notifications, reducing the amount of energy spent every day. According to studies, even if a tiny number of US homeowners install smart gadgets in their homes, we may considerably lower our electricity expenditures in the near future.
This would be a big step toward meeting our sustainability goals and making the world a better place for future generations.