Monday, August 11, 2014

Which Technologies Will Help Us Achieve a More Sustainable Future?

[Clean Air Watch periodically publishes guest posts of possible interest.  Today's guest post is by Jennifer Smith]

Nowadays, technology has become such an important part of our world that many people are unable to function without it. This includes everything from mobile phones to laptops and everything else in between. However, an equally important part of today’s world is the need to become more eco-friendly, as more and more people are beginning to realize what their carbon footprint is doing to Planet Earth.  

There are all kinds of products out there that can help you to be more eco-friendly, and to reduce your energy usage. There’s a lot to be said for doing this as well, as you’ll not only save money but will be able to know that you’re doing your bit. 

So, whether you love your tech and want to make it less impactful on the environment, or if you just want to ensure your home is as energy efficient as possible, here are some of the best eco technologies available at the moment:

Solar powered computer keyboards

Almost everyone in the world uses a computer nowadays, and those that don’t often use their mobile or tablet to surf the net. If you like to use a keyboard when checking your emails, consider getting yourself a wireless solar powered keyboard, which uses bluetooth.  

These keyboards, which are from Logitech and can be used with Apple Macs, iPhones and iPads and have a battery that lasts for eight hours a day. The Bluetooth on them also allows up to three devices to be paired with the keyboard at once, so you can easily switch between your phone, computer and tablet.  

While their energy saving benefits are likely to be minimal, they will help you on your way to combating your carbon footprint.  

LED lightbulbs

Many people have been made aware of the benefits that LED lightbulbs can have, but some people are yet to make the switch. LED lightbulbs can last for up to 80,000 hours (which equates to roughly 3,333 days, which is just over nine years!). You can also often get them for free from energy companies, as they want you to switch to eco-friendly options just as much as you do.  

LED lights can save you a considerable amount of money on your energy bills, which translates into a reduction in usage by energy companies. You may think that you aren’t making a difference, but if everyone switched to LED lightbulbs it would definitely make a start! 

Eco cars

A phenomenal number of people now rely on vehicles in order to travel from A to B, whether this is commuting, picking the kids up from school or simply running errands. Certainly, driving a car is one of the easiest modes of travel, but it also contributes to the majority of the world’s energy issues.  

There are numerous vehicle manufacturers that are now focusing on creating eco or ‘green’ cars. These vehicles have lower CO2 emissions, and so do less damage to the ozone layer. You can buy all kinds of green cars nowadays, including saloons, hatchbacks, coupés, estates, SUVs, automatics and more.  

Some of the most popular eco cars include the following:

  • BMW I3
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Vauxhall Ampera
  • Audi A3
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Volvo V60
  • BMW I8
  • Toyota Prius
  • Porsche Panamera
  • Toyota Yaris
Whether you choose to drive a hybrid vehicle, or an electric one, you’ll certainly reap the rewards. They’re often cheaper to run, as the cost of fuel is now sky-high, and so driving a car the requires less fuel, or even none whatsoever, is certainly beneficial. While they can be more expensive to buy, they’re certainly worth it.  

Solar panels for the home

Solar panels have been around for a very long time now, and many people are still unaware that you can have them installed in your home. Solar PV (as they’re called) come with many benefits, including: 
  • You’ll be able to generate electricity from the sun, which is (obviously) a free resource. This means that your only outlay will be the cost of the solar panels and, from then on, you’ll be able to generate your own electricity
  • There are many Government initiatives that can see you actually earn money for using solar panels. This is because the Government has put incentives in place to encourage people to install energy saving measures, such as solar PV, within their homes
  • You can also sell any electricity that you generate but don’t use back to the grid, so it can act as a form of income
  • You can save a considerable amount of energy by using solar PV - over a tonne per year, in fact

If you don’t want to have panels installed on your roof, you can also have solar tiles and slates installed instead. These are to be used in place of normal roof tiles, although they can be much more expensive than standard systems.  

High-speed hand dryers

If you’ve ever used a public toilet before and have then dried your hands with a high-speed hand dryer, you’ll know how much more efficient they are in terms of time. Older hand-dryers could take minutes to get your hands dry, and some public toilets even still use paper hand towels instead of hand-dryers.

Both of these older options can use much more energy than high-speed hand dryers, which have a much lower level of CO2 per use. Therefore, businesses that choose to install these more modern hand-dryers will save in both energy and money.  

Wind turbines

Wind turbines are now old news in terms of how long they’ve been around for, but you can still save a considerable amount of money and energy with them. Both businesses and homeowners can have them installed, and they can produce electricity from another free resource - wind power. You can also have small wind turbines installed if you don’t like the idea of having a full-sized one installed.  

Overall, there are numerous green technologies that you can choose from, and all will help us to create a more sustainable future. From the home to the office, everyone needs to do their bit to help the planet.

Do you know of any other technologies that people can use? Let us know!

This guest post was written by Jennifer Smith on behalf of
Green Deal Shop
the Green Deal approved assessors, providers and installers.

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