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May 13

A Green Guide to Technology in the Home

Being a conscious, eco-friendly consumer doesn’t necessarily imply cutting all ties with modern living. In order to function in our technology-driven society, it’s necessary to remain connected. You can, however, help the environment by simplifying and consolidating your technology usage.

Consolidate

Try to purchase gadgets that have multiple capabilities and several uses. Not only will you be saving on energy (you’ll only need to plug in one device instead of multiple), but you will also be reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing and shipping processes.

For example ultrabooks are designed to combine the primary benefits of a laptop and tablet. They have the functionality of a full laptop, but the convenience of a tablet (note: not all ultrabooks are touchscreen). Because of their size and portability, they can be used in any setting in the home. Mom can use it in the kitchen while cooking, the kids can use it to play educational games, and dad can use it to check up on his favorite sports teams.

Furthermore, the ultrabook is also very durable, and because it’s equipped with a full sized keyboard and a range of display sizes, it can easily be used as an office/school laptop for meetings, presentations, or creating documents. The extra long battery life is also a plus for the environment since it isn’t necessary to charge the device as much as traditional laptops.

Unplug

One commonly held misconception is that if the device isn’t turned on, it’s not using energy. This is (in most cases) absolutely incorrect. Plugged-in TVs and computers still use “phantom power” which means electronics use small amounts of power even when turned off . To solve this problem, it is a good idea to use a power-strip or surge protector where devices can be easily disconnected with the flip of the switch. If the strip’s light is off, the energy isn’t flowing. Make sure to cultivate an in-home culture of saving energy by always unplugging or turning off these devices when not being charged or used.

Recycle

Something you may not know about recycling is that getting rid of old electronics in an eco-friendly way is a lot easier than you may know. LG has an amazing website that can help you find electronic drop off sites. Put in your zip code to find the nearest location, chances are you will be able to find one within a few miles of your home.

Energy efficient options

When purchasing in-home tech devices, make sure to look into options that use less energy to start with; for example, the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 is an indoor solar powered keyboard that never needs a charge or battery change. There are also special chargers like the IDAPT i1 Eco that is a dual charger for home and vehicle.

This charger is actually made from recycled materials and just as mentioned above, has an on off switch that will ensure that you aren’t sucking electricity when the gadget isn’t being charged. Another option is a solar powered charger panel where the panel connects via USB port to charge your smaller devices.

There are many ways to consolidate and condense your energy use. Become more aware of the companies who are supporting these initiatives and be sure to support their efforts. Purchase devices that can be used for multiple purposes and when accessorizing, make sure you look into more natural and energy saving options.

How do you do your part?

Paul Mansour is enthusiastic about start-ups along with consumer and small business technology. See how consolidating with an Ultrabook can help here. In his spare time he can’t resist taking apart his latest gadget and forgetting how to put it back together.

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