What exactly is green technology? You probably think of things like the solar or geothermal energy products, LED lights and monitors, or even electric and hybrid vehicles. But green technology encompasses more than just the big items. It’s a loose term than can be applied to any sustainable product or service that helps the environment and usually saves you money in the long run. Forrester Research found that about 25 million Americans claim they’re willing to pay more for green technology because of improved energy efficiency that will wind up saving them more than they spend. But what if you want to start small? How do you go green in your day-to-day life? You can turn environmentalism into a serious commitment through incorporating all kinds of green technology into your home, car, or office. It’s easy to start considering the changes.
1. Experiment with Solar
Most people think the only way they can take advantage of solar technology is to completely overhaul the energy system in your house and install solar panels. While this may be a wonderful thing to aspire to, not everyone has the money to invest in such a project. Not only that, you might be curious how well solar really works. There are dozens of solar-powered products and gadgets, and you’ll be saving energy and money by investing in a few of the smaller ones. Solar lamps, solar dryers, solar furnaces, even solar-powered calculators and wristwatches can all give you insight into this kind of power. According to USA Today, the United States has tripled its solar power energy-bearing capacity since 2010, and electronics powered by the sun are starting to be everywhere.
2. Control Your Environment
One of the biggest ways to incorporate green technology into your home that most people don’t realize is to take advantage of the increasing market for environmental controls. The easiest way to do this is to have a home security system that offers you the ability to set your air conditioner and heater on timers. These days, security systems like the ones found on securitysystems.net are about much more than protecting you from burglary, and many of them are available with recycled parts and green upgrades to help you conserve. They can alert you when your home becomes too cold or too hot and control which rooms get air conditioning or heat at which times. Not only does this help you go green, it can also prevent house fires and floods, which can cause irreparable damage. The smart home is the wave of the future, and being able to turn your utilities on and off with the click of one button is great for the planet and your bills.
3. Drive with Driving Apps
Whether you own a hybrid or not, one of the best ways to actively conserve energy on your commute is to use mobile technology. There are plenty of driving apps available that will help you understand how fast your car is accelerating and whether you’re burning too much fuel on your way to work. You can also use apps to avoid traffic, choose the right gas stations and repair shops, and simply avoid burning gas by getting lost. Minimizing the amount of time you spend behind the wheel is ideal. If you can’t carpool, take public transportation, or walk to your destination, the least you can do is be aware of how you’re driving and the steps you can take to improve your safety, save money, and reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible.
4. Change Home Insurance
If you have a green home or just aspire to have one, you should be looking into different insurance options that may help you increase energy efficiency down the line. If you suffer a full or partial loss on your home, your insurance company will replace appliances, energy systems, and more with green technology. You may not see the benefits every day, but while you’re working on investing in more green electronics and energy-saving appliances, you’ll know that should you ever need to file a claim, you’ll be able to upgrade your existing items. And if you already use alternative energy for heating and cooling, you could be eligible for discounts on your policy that will help you manage your monthly budget even better.
Green technology can mean lots of things, from using better cleaning products and reusable shopping bags to installing a wind-powered air conditioner. But for most consumers, the focus on energy technology is increasing, and consumers are starting to realize that saving the planet really does go hand in hand with saving money. There’s no reason to waste cash or waste energy on the old habits of the past. Going green has long been proven to be more than a trend – it’s a tangible shift in American consciousness.
Chelsea McCary is an eco- friendly blogger that looking for new ways to green her life. Follow her on twitter @ChelseaMcCary.
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