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Earth Harmony Living
On behalf of, and with our thanks to Ginger Reid
Out With the Old: Make Way for These New Tech Gadgets for Everyday Sustainable Living
We can all make small swaps to live greener every day, like using stainless straws instead of plastic or forgoing a straw altogether. These small changes may not seem to matter much, but when more people do them consistently, they make a major impact. The same can be said for how we use energy and water in our homes, and the latest technology is here to help. In fact, ThoughtCo explains how green technology is the way of the future for inventors and consumers.
Better Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling systems make up a large portion of the energy we consume at home, and the worst part is that a good deal of that energy is wasted. This is why a smart thermostat like Nest is so helpful because it gives any member of the household the ability to adjust temperatures from an app, whether you’re at home or away. Plus, it actually learns your family’s desired temperature at different times and adjusts accordingly. The result is that your home stays more comfortable, while at the same time, you’re eliminating wasted energy.
Of course, the savings on your utility bills is an added bonus of making your heating and cooling more efficient. Another tip from The Green Age that helps with cost and energy-savings is the fact that electric heaters actually use more energy than central heating, especially when you use a smart thermostat to keep it regulated efficiently.
Reduce the Drain of Electronics
Along with your home’s major systems like heating and cooling, individual electric appliances suck up a good deal of energy as well. To reduce this impact, it helps to know just how much energy any particular appliance consumes. Simply being aware of energy use will help you find ways to cut back, such as running your dishwasher less or hanging clothes to dry.
Reducing consumption really is the best way to live more sustainably, but that doesn’t have to mean going without. Just as a smart thermostat reduces waste in heating and cooling, smart outlets and smart power strips can eliminate wasted energy from electronics. Smart outlets are little devices that plug into your regular outlets, transforming them into a smart hub for whatever electronics you use. Adding these to your home is a simple way to keep tabs on energy use and make sure electronics are never running when they aren’t in use.
Wake Up to Smart Lighting
Of course, smart outlets can be used for lighting, but there are other tech gadgets that can make your lighting even more efficient. For example, LED bulbs have become easier to find and more affordable, and they use much less energy than traditional bulbs. An even more sustainable option is to adopt smart lighting. Smart light bulbs give you more flexibility by allowing you to control them via an app on your phone or through your smart speaker. The concept with smart lighting is similar to other smart home devices: with easier control, there’s no need for lights to be left on when they aren’t being used. As an added benefit, smart lighting may even help improve your sleep and mental health.
Waste Less Water
Along with using less energy, don’t forget about conserving water to live greener. Technology helps make this easier as well. For example, new designs in water-saving showerheads lower the amount of water used while adding aeration, which makes it seem like the water flow is the same as usual. Another option, as you can probably guess since smart home technology has become so pervasive, is to purchase a smart shower.
Smart homes really are the way of the future, but thankfully, these devices are already here so we can start living greener now. Most of these gadgets are affordable too, so it doesn’t cost a lot to make smart upgrades. Each individual change may seem small, but like all small changes, they add up to a greater impact (and a lower carbon footprint).
Photo credit: Rawpixel
Top 15 Green Home Improvements and their Costs - DIY Green Living Ideas https://www.remodelgurus.com/top-15-green-home-improvements/
Greenhouse Essentials You Need To Know https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/greenhouse-tips/
How to Compost at Home: A Beginner's Guide to DIY Fertilizer https://www.wideopeneats.com/inclusive-guide-home-composting/
How to Host an At-Home Recycling Drive https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-host-home-recycling-drive.htm
Top 18 Things You Should NOT Recycle Curbside https://www.how2recycle.info/news/2018/top-18-things-you-should-not-recycle
What Can Be Recycled?: A List of 200+ Items https://www.personalcreations.com/blog/how-to-recycle-anything
Being an Eco Friendly Pet Owner
The Complete Guide to Thrifting. Re-use as opposed to recycle
Cleaning Made Easy: No Harsh Chemicals Required
The world might be a scary place right now, but that doesn’t mean your home has to be. Whether you’re worried about the COVID-19 outbreak or simply want to ensure that your house is healthy from the inside out, keep reading. Here, we have a few handy tips on how to keep your home clean and healthy without resorting to potentially harmful chemicals.
Start with decluttering
One of the most stressful things in everyone’s home is clutter. Not only does this have an effect on the aesthetics of your physical space, but clutter can also mess with you mentally. It’s been said that clutter is simply a representation of things left undone. This alone will put you in a perpetual state of anxiously looking for the next to-do list item. If you want to truly minimize stress, start by purging the items you no longer need. Interior design expert Dina Maria Joy says you can jump-start the process by asking yourself questions about your stuff like: When was the last time it was used? Do you have duplicates? Does it really fit in your space? The answers to these questions can quickly reveal what needs to stay and what can go.
Don’t be afraid to get help
Decluttering is overwhelming, but the cleaning that comes along behind it is even more so. Once you have fewer things to hide them, you’ll quickly notice the dust bunnies, dirt marks, and other items that need attention. Don’t feel bad if you find it necessary to hire a cleaning service, at least as you work toward creating a harmonious home. Before you commit to any one particular service, double check that they use green cleaners. Many do, and most are willing to use the cleaners of your choice.
Learn to make your own cleaners
Speaking of green cleaners, you can make your own out of common pantry staples. Good Housekeeping has many recipes that incorporate vinegar, essential oils, lemon juice, and hot water. You can pick and choose ingredients that make the most sense for your home and your needs, and you are in complete control of what touches all your surfaces.
Master quick cleaning techniques
When you own a home, and especially when you have kids, you are going to clean often, so you may as well make the most of your cleaning endeavors. Learn how to delegate responsibilities, and pick and choose days to do specific tasks. You only need 30 minutes Monday through Friday to ensure your entire home is clean and pristine. Something that will help you out the most here is to look out for what has to be done tomorrow. Don’t leave laundry sitting in the washer or dryer to wrinkle and re-tumble, empty the dishwasher when it’s done, and clean up after dinner each night.
Let the air circulate
Whether your home has condensation issues or not, it’s always a good idea to open the windows every now and then and to ensure that your home is properly ventilated. The air inside of your house is, perhaps surprisingly, more polluted than that outside. Opening the doors and windows can help push all of the dust, germs, and debris floating through the air out and let fresh, clean air in. Fresh air may also help combat a bad mood and improve concentration. And although time outdoors is always best, letting a little bit of the outside in has marked benefits.
You do not have to spend from sunup until sundown making your home clean and healthy. What you must do, however, is purge it of the things you do not need. After a thorough deep cleaning, streamline your efforts so that you do a little here and there instead of getting stuck every Saturday morning regretting not being proactive during the week.