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According to the Climate.gov, 2015 through 2018 were the four warmest years on record—a major indicator that our planet’s average surface temperature is increasing with each passing year. If we don’t begin to change many of our everyday behaviors, some experts believe we could see unprecedented weather conditions by the year 2050.
Fortunately, there are several things each of us can do to reduce our carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle—starting with the technological devices we use to watch our favorite television shows, make phone calls, or heat and cool our homes. Read on to learn more about these everyday technologies that can help to promote a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Entrust in an Environmental Smartphone App
You probably rely on apps like Google Maps, Pinterest and Spotify to simplify your everyday life, so why wouldn’t you use your smartphone to help you live a greener lifestyle as well? With eco-friendly apps such as Light Bulb Finder, GoodGuide, greenMeter, iRecycle, and Seafood Watch, you can use your smartphone device to make environmentally friendly decisions that are great for the planet as well as your wallet.
When using the Light Bulb Finder smartphone app, for instance, you’ll receive guidance for selecting the best light bulbs for your home—helping you to reduce the amount of your electric bill, become more energy-efficient and live a more sustainable lifestyle overall. Plus, the app is free to use and available for download on iOS and Android devices.
Moreover, mobile apps such as GoodGuide help you to purchase sustainable foods and greener household items for you and your family. If your household consumes seafood, other apps such as Seafood Watch and Safe Seafood can help you to make more sustainable choices when eating at home, on vacation, or out at a restaurant.
Upgrade Your Home to Include a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats—such as the Nest’s Learning Thermostat or Honeywell’s Lyric T5—make your home more energy-efficient while also helping you to save hundreds of dollars on energy costs each year. With a Nest thermostat, for instance, you can save as much as $145 per year on the cost of heating and cooling your home.
By installing a smart thermostat in your home, you can control your HVAC system via a convenient smartphone app—even if you need to make adjustments while at work or away on vacation. However, keep in mind that an ongoing Wi-Fi connection is needed in order to experience many of these benefits—especially if you wish to connect your thermostat to any other smart devices.
Decrease Energy Usage with a Video Streaming Device
If you use a cable box, DVR or DVD player to watch movies and television programs, upgrading to a media streaming device like Roku could help you to reduce your carbon footprint and save on energy costs over time. Studies show that streaming video content over the internet uses less energy than a DVD player would—especially if you’re driving to a store to obtain a copy of the DVD and/or leaving your media players on while they’re not in use. Always-on devices such as DVR and DVD players account for about 23 percent of all domestic energy consumption in the U.S., totaling around $40 billion per year.
Moreover, streaming devices are much more energy-efficient, even while on standby mode. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), most streaming devices use between 1 and 2.7 watts of power while on standby mode, while most DVRs use about 19 to 26 watts when not in use. Additionally, using a streaming device doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice convenience—in fact, all you need to do to enjoy your favorite programming is compare streaming devices and find one that’s compatible with your TV and plug it in.
While these simple lifestyle adjustments may seem insubstantial, small changes such as these can help you to reduce your carbon footprint and fight the negative effects of climate change. In many ways, fighting climate change starts at home with the types of food you eat, the products you buy, and the everyday technology you use to simplify and enhance the quality of your life.