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How Technology Helps Conserve Energy, by Uma Campbell
While many Americans believe that the federal government is well suited to tackle environmental issues, this doesn’t mean that we can sit back and wait for politicians in Washington to magically come up with ideas or in fact solve the problems that are jeopardizing our environment.
Fortunately, more and more people are looking to reduce, if not altogether eliminate, their carbon footprint. The carbon footprint, of course, refers to the quantity of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds caused because of a person or company’s use of fossil fuels.If you’re interested in safeguarding the environment that — as the old adage goes — you really are just borrowing from your children, there are some relatively simple things you can do. What follows is a look at technology that will help you to conserve energy as a conscientious environmental steward.
Smart Power Strips
Do you know how much vampire power, which refers to the power being used by your plugged in TVs, computers, and radios even when they’re turned off, is costing you? One source notes that it add between 5% and 10% to your energy bill. One way you can fix this problem is by going with smart power strips. They’re manufactured to determine when a plugged-in device is not actually being used. And when it does notice this, it stops the vampire power draw. The great thing is that if it determines that you’re not watching TV, it not only will stop the TV from drawing power, but also will cut off power to devices connected to your TV, such as your DVD player or video gaming console. While small in size, smart power strips can have a big impact.
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) light bulbs are more energy efficient than their predecessor light bulbs, and they will definitely help you to reduce your energy consumption. This will, in turn, lessen your carbon footprint. LEDs that have the ENERGY STAR rating use between 20% and 25%of the energy of incandescent light bulbs, the former go-to light bulbs for decades. LEDs also last as much as 25 times longer than incandescents. As well, LEDs use between 25% and 30% of the energy of halogen and incandescents light bulbs and they last between eight and 25 longer than. When you consider the differences that LEDs can make over years and decades of use, you can appreciate the potential energy savings.
ENERGY STAR Appliances
You can also reduce your energy consumption by using ENERGY STAR-rated dishwashing machines and washing machines. These sorts of appliances are time-savers, and it’s hard to imagine were we would be without such modern conveniences. But you should be mindful about the types of appliances you purchase so that you can reduce your carbon footprint. As well, don’t wash partial loads. Doing so not only wastes water, but also fritters away whatever energy savings you would have achieved if you had run full loads.
Wireless Energy Monitor
By installing a wireless energy monitor in your home, you’ll get an accurate picture of just how much energy you’re using. This will give you the data you need to implement the purposeful changes that will reduce your energy consumption. You might want to add to this a dedicated smart energy meter that will specifically keep track of how much electricity and gas you’re using.
As you can see, there are various things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and to become a better steward of the environment. With the right technology, you can cut down on your energy consumption without necessarily having to sacrifice anything by the way of comfort. The tips recommended above will help you to get on the right track.
Uma Campbell is a green-loving yoga instructor and freelance writer. She currently lives in Southern California where she enjoys writing about natural living, health, and home design. @Umajcampbell