If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve probably been mulling over ways to live a little more “green.” But aside from recycling and shutting off the lights when you leave a room, what can you really do, day-to-day, that will make a difference? Well, there’s quite a bit actually, and innovative technology is at the center of it.
Similar to the tech gadgets and apps presented in our last tech blog post, Technology that makes parenting easier, we’re going to walk you through the technologies and products that are out there that help make going green more of a breeze. Don’t get us wrong – there are a million and one ways to take meaningful steps toward environmental friendliness – the idea here is to help you take that first step by offering some curated choices within a few key categories.
Implementing even just a couple of these options could help you breathe a little easier – from both an environmental and a budget standpoint!
If You’re Looking To...
Cut down on the amount of electricity used in your home:
The U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Information Administration (EIA) tells us that the average electric bill runs a homeowner or tenant just over $110 per month ($112.59, to be exact). If you find yourself on the higher end of this average, there are some energy-saving technologies you can use in your home to help trim the costs. It may take some time, but the savings can be worth it.
For example, using an automatic thermostat timer has been said to save homeowners on average between $131-145 per year. Another cool perk aside from the savings? Smart thermostats can figure out your temperature preferences and build out a personalized heating and cooling schedule, helping you manage hot and cold spots in your house both when you’re at home or away. Set them up and then leave them to do the work of cutting down on energy usage.
This is a big one for a lot of people. We water grass, take relaxing showers and leave water running while doing the dishes – you have to rinse them clean, right? Well, have you heard of the WaterSense label? This label, if attached to products like faucets, toilets and shower heads, means the devices meet certain parameters outlined by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) for both water efficiency and performance. You can find WaterSense-labeled products at many home improvement stores.
If you aren’t quite ready to take the plunge and buy all new faucets or shower heads, you can download free apps that monitor water usage. Not only do the apps measure how much water you’re actually using, some show you how you stack up compared to your neighbors. If you’re usage is high in comparison, it may be time to consider cutting back or making some appliance upgrades.
Reduce Gas Emissions:
Driving is just plain necessary sometimes. But there are smarter ways to plan your everyday travel. Similar to old-fashioned carpooling, rideshare apps make it possible to not only save money typically spent on gas but cut down on emissions while you’re at it.
If your commute to work is pretty manageable, there are also bike sharing services with downloadable apps to locate nearby scooters or bikes that are ready to ride. Just remember to lock them up when you’re finished. (Note, bike sharing services may not be available in your area).
If you’re looking for another, maybe lesser thought-of way to cut down on emissions, consider going green with an electric lawn mower. Electric mowers eliminate the fuel emissions that are an inherent side effect of traditional gas mowers. If you’re lucky enough to have a nice backyard for the kids or pets to run around in, using an electric mower can be another step toward going green.
We take pride in taking steps toward living and working more sustainably. In 2017, we cut our water, energy and gas consumption saving more than:
- 277,550 gallons of water
- 158,600 kilowatts of energy (enough to power the average home in the U.S. for the next 14 years!)
- 15,067 gallons of oil
Our commitment to energy efficiency is not a new thing for us either – we have received the EPA Energy Star Certification award each year since 2013. This means our Maryland headquarters uses 35% less energy and generates 35% fewer greenhouse emissions, and performs better than 75% of similar buildings nationwide.
Did this blog post spark ideas that you want to share to help others around you save energy and go green? With a little effort, going green can make a big difference.
Please note that the types of technologies described are not intended to be a recommendation or an endorsement of specific products or apps. This blog post is for general information, but where required or depending on your personal circumstances, you should always seek professional guidance.