Kermott the Frog once sang “It’s not easy being green”, and that still stands today–especially if you are someone who loves tech, phones, or gaming. Tech sucks up energy like nothing else, and this can really put a dent in the plans of anyone who’s trying to do their bit for the planet.
Happily, there are steps, gadgets and apps for that. Here are five ways you can reduce your carbon footprint, without reducing the time you spend on the internet or throwing out your favourite appliances.
1. Smart power strips
Did you know standby mode is responsible for up to 15 percent of your energy usage? It includes computers in sleep mode, TVs turned off but still plugged in, and the microwave that blinks the time at us when it’s not in use.
In a perfect world, we’d switch off appliances at the wall when they’re not in use, but that would be a giant pain. Now imagine if you could control your appliances’ standby mode from an app on your phone. That’s exactly what smart power strips do, and they can make an enormous difference to your carbon footprint.
2. Lightbulb moments
If you’ve got a virtual home assistant, like Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa, it’s worth connecting it to your lighting system. Doing this means your lights won’t be on in an empty house for hours on end, and you can switch on your lights just before you arrive home.
4. Solar without panels
Having solar panels on your roof will dramatically reduce your energy usage, but did you know you can still go solar, even if you rent your home or live in a house where solar panels aren’t an option?
These days many of the appliances we use come in solar-run options. You’ve probably seen solar powered outdoor lighting, and even solar-powered radios for enjoying by the pool–but did you know you can also purchase solar powered garden tools, BBQs and even speakers?
You can even use solar-powered computer equipment, like keyboards and mice, indoors. One big energy sucker is phone chargers, and window solar chargers can now charge all your phones and devices without using power from the grid.
5. Buy green energy
For most of us, living in regular houses, driving to work, and enjoying life, it’s near impossible to live a carbon-neutral life. One of the easiest steps you can take to reduce your family’s carbon footprint is to buy renewable energy. Most energy providers have plans where a certain percentage of energy is from a renewable source, and you can find one to suit your budget.