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Living a sustainable life doesn’t mean you have to give up all modern conveniences, technology, and other things you love. Perhaps we should all be planting and nurturing more trees and respecting the natural world, but we can strike a balance between our green thumb and our digital footprint. Technology has improved so much over the years that using certain tech every day can help you to live a greener and more sustainable life — and help you save money along the way. Here are some of the most practical ways to start:
1. Opting for E-Books
Many people enjoy the feel of a good book in their hands, but unless you have a giant library to store books in your home, you can quickly run out of space as an avid reader. If you enjoy reading but want to cut down on the accumulation of books, consider purchasing an e-reader, or opt for a laptop if you'd prefer a larger screen or performing other tasks on your device. If your laptop doesn't have a power save mode, look for one that has this feature for greater energy efficiency. By choosing e-books, you’ll not only diminish your carbon footprint, but you’ll also be able to carry all of your favorite literature with you anywhere you go on one small device.
2. Enjoying Your Favorite Programming
Cable boxes and DVR equipment can drain energy and, over time, make a substantial impact. By switching to streaming devices, not only will you personally be decreasing energy usage, but you will also join a worldwide movement of people converting to streaming devices, which will lead to a noticeable decrease in energy consumption. For instance, streaming players don’t pull as much electricity, and you still get to enjoy your favorite shows and movies.
3. Controlling the Temperature in Your Home
Smart thermostats do so much more than regulate the temperature in your home. Not only do they afford you the convenience of changing your thermostat from anywhere, but they also use sensors to determine where you spend the most time in your home and regulate the temperature according to that particular spot. No one spends all their time in a hallway, which is where traditional thermostats are generally located, meaning it’s not a very reliable location to provide a gauge of what you need in your home.
4. Switching to LED Lightbulbs
LED lights are 75 to 90 percent more efficient than traditional lighting and they last longer. If you replace all the lighting in your house with LED lighting, you’ll find that you not only use less power annually, but you’ll also be saving yourself money in the long run.
5. Using Rechargeable Batteries
Batteries are necessary to operate products, equipment, and portable devices that are not self-charging. If you’re a parent of young children, battery usage increases with all of the toys that sing, dance, and light up. However, batteries are made up of toxic chemicals, and when improperly disposed of, they can cause soil and water pollution. Rechargeable batteries avoid waste, and they can be charged hundreds of times, avoiding the need to frequently purchase new batteries — saving money is always a plus.
6. Monitoring Time in the Shower
We are all guilty of taking a nice long shower, perhaps a little longer than we should. A shower timer is an inexpensive device that you can add to your bathroom, and it will help prevent you from zoning out and using more water and energy than necessary. Over time, you could potentially be saving yourself a lot of money and avoid wasting thousands of gallons of water.
7. Better Business Practices
If you run a business, the natural progression is to take these practices into your workplace. If you’re not in charge, why not approach those who are and point out how much money they can save through energy-efficient selections? You might even consider transitioning to a location that is especially friendly to green entrepreneurs. Places like Salt Lake City, Washington, DC, and San Jose are known for both economic and ecological health.
In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to live a sustainable life through the use of technology. Look into tech like streaming devices, smart thermostats, rechargeable batteries, shower timers, LED light bulbs, and e-readers. You’ll be cutting down on your energy consumption and benefiting the environment in many other ways — all while saving money in the long run.
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Big thanks to our guest blogger, Marjorie from Come On Get Well.