As the impact of climate change becomes more evident by the day, the responsibility increasingly falls on us to do what we can to help. Through a number of small and simple changes, we are individually able to transition to a more sustainable and environmentally-conscious lifestyle.
Smart devices are one way of upgrading the common aspects of your everyday life to ensure a more eco-friendly home with lower energy consumption, fewer emissions, and less resource use, as well as promoting more sustainable practices.
What are smart devices?
First, let’s clarify what we mean by ‘a smart device’. ‘Smart’ refers to the capability to collect and interpret data and make appropriate, informed decisions, often with little-to-no human interaction.
They are part of the Internet of Things (IoT), an interconnected network of physical machines with analytic software that facilitates the operation of smart devices. The ubiquity of such technology cannot be underestimated: as of 2019, 57% of homes had at least one smart technology implemented, a number that is steadily increasing by the day.
Types of smart device
Smart devices range from entertainment-oriented innovations, like smart speakers, to security measures like smart doorbells and cameras, to tools designed to make more efficient use of energy around the home, like smart thermostats and taps.
Not only are smart devices better for the planet, they also enable a greater level of comfort. This article will outline how these devices improve the sustainability of our planet, your finances, and how making the switch will make your day-to-day tasks and professional work easier and more efficient.
Growing concern over the state of the environment has resulted in particular attention being paid to the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Smart devices help address this concern and contribute towards more sustainable levels of atmospheric carbon.
Automatic power management
One third of missions are a result of household energy use, a number that can be contained and eliminated with the use of smart devices. Smart devices help reduce carbon emissions in a number of ways: and not simply because they emit less pollution than their conventional alternatives.
Smart thermostats, for example, are programmed to automatically switch off the heating when either its sensors detect that nobody is home or when it is scheduled to do so as planned by the user. Some higher-end devices are even capable of tailoring the precise settings according to your preferences and routine. Predictably, this will mean much lower energy use, resulting in fewer carbon emissions.
Similarly, smart light bulbs can switch off when unneeded, while LED bulbs themselves use upwards of 75% less energy than their halogen counterparts. These bulbs also operate for more hours, meaning fewer light bulbs to purchase and therefore less waste.
If you are a remote worker, the implementation of a smart home becomes even more essential as you’re spending more time indoors; smart devices will reduce the wasteful use of excess heating and lighting. When you’re looking into the best video conference room setup to invest in, take a look at how energy efficient each option is and factor that into your decision.
Of course, there is more to environmental protection than carbon emissions. It is also important that we reduce our waste of precious, scarce resources where possible. Smart devices also contribute to this end as they minimize waste.
Leak detection is a common feature of smart taps and toilets, which can alert you of potential water loss through leakage. Don’t underestimate the impact of these tiny leaks – they can add up to 10,000 gallons of wasted water every year. You can combat this by installing smart devices.
Some of these taps are programmed to provide the precise amount of water needed, even pausing to allow you to lather your hands with soap before resuming to rinse. Smart showers can raise the water temperature to the desired level and pause the flow until you enter, saving unnecessary waste while you wait for it to heat up.
Another major source of wasted water is gardening. Frequent water use is vital to keeping your garden nice and healthy, but many people inadvertently use more water than is actually necessary.
Through the use of smart irrigation systems – which release appropriate levels of water in response to such factors as humidity, weather, and soil content – you can ensure that the excess use of unnecessary water is eliminated, even while maintaining the same lush garden as before.
When it comes to household energy consumption, the sustainability of the planet is not our only concern – the impact on our wallet is also at the forefront of our minds. Fortunately, smart devices’ energy-retaining nature translates to greater savings and contributes to better financial health.
Track energy use
As mentioned, smart devices are capable of switching on when needed and off automatically, as well as providing a statistical breakdown of your energy use. The financial incentive of this is obvious, and will be reflected in your bill payments. Smart electricity meters will keep track of how much your existing devices use, allowing you to accurately target the areas where change is needed.
These statistics will allow you to easily assess key areas where your energy consumption can be reduced: take something you do every day, for example charging your phone. Making the switch to a solar power bank, for example, will result in long-term savings. Many smart devices are also designed to use energy as infrequently as possible; they will only function when necessary or when explicitly told.
Even when we think a device is switched off, it is often actually in standby mode, which still adds to your bill. This is resolved by autonomous smart technology, such as smart plugs, which will make it clearer which plugged-in devices are still sapping energy, while other smart devices will simply switch off after a long enough period of inactivity. Energy loss through standby power, known as ‘phantom power’, can add up to a sizable chunk of your energy bills.
Advanced, computerized blinds and curtains can be programmed to open and close depending on the temperature in order to minimize the heat lost through inefficient windows, saving you on your heating bill.
Quality of life
The devices mentioned above often include an intuitive, easily understood user interface as they are designed to, above all else, simplify everyday household tasks. The talk of smart, automated, WiFi-enabled devices might perturb the less technologically-minded among us, but rest assured, smart devices are designed with ease and convenience in mind.
You can pursue a more eco-friendly lifestyle and household by becoming a more green shopper with some simple research before you make a purchase. This ensures that when you do need to buy something, it is made from sustainable resources and manufactured in a way that is safe and caring for the environment. Check labels carefully and try to buy recyclable items whenever available.
Managing a business
Having devices automatically switch off when not in active use will save the effort of checking each individually to ensure they are not needed. Smart plugs, which fit seamlessly into your existing mains sockets, offer a more convenient and efficient alternative. If you run a business from home, such innovations as an automated phone attendant will help keep your affairs in order.
If you run a business, using smart technology to switch to a virtual business phone system will result in a more streamlined, efficient experience, with similar benefits for sustainability. Combined with remote work, it is possible to greatly diminish your professional work’s impact on the environment.
Check locally to see if government finance might be available to make the transition to more sustainable technologies even easier and cheaper – many institutions provide subsidies or offer tax benefits for installing solar panels or addressing leaky pipes, for example.
It is clear that a switch to smart devices will contribute towards a more sustainable environment, control over your finances, and an improved quality of life. Smart thermostats and bulbs will limit the amount of wasteful greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere, while other devices, like smart irrigation and taps, will cut down on water waste. In addition to smart plugs and solar-powered technology, all of these devices will save you when it comes to your energy bills.
As well as helping improve sustainability, smart devices will also make everyday tasks easier, from managing a household to running a business. Designed with ease and convenience in mind, smart devices are a great option for any household looking to become more sustainable or make day-to-day tasks more efficient.
So what are you waiting for? Get started making your home eco-friendly today!
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