Almost twenty years into the 21st Century, technology is advancing faster than ever and has invaded all our daily lives in ways few seriously predicted not so long ago. This trend seems unlikely to slow down any time soon, but there’s also a growing awareness that such rapid changes are damaging the environment. And so many of us are looking for ways to find a better balance – to continue to enjoy our devices while protecting the planet for future generations.
Presented here, then, are five ways to make a start:
Switch it off
It seems obvious, but switching off devices when not in use is one of the best ways of conserving not only power, but also their working life. Of course, this used to be the norm, but stand-by modes became a common feature of many domestic appliances. Now, this can be handy, especially if it’s a piece of technology you need to access quickly. But for most appliances around the home, waiting a few extra seconds will not really inconvenience you, and the savings could really add up.
Outside of the home, one really effective tip is to replace single-use batteries with rechargeable versions wherever possible. Phones and laptops show how reliable this kind of eco-friendly technology is, so why not apply the same to your cameras, music players, torches and more? You will usually still be paying for the electricity to charge them (unless you can do so outside your own home), but cutting down the amount of batteries manufactured is a real contribution.
An exciting trend we’ll see more and more of is technology built to reduce wasting power automatically. Although at first these versions may be a little more expensive, you should consider whether they’ll save you money while you use them. From everyday items using sensors to know when to switch off, to computers which learn how you tend to use them and divert resources away from features you don’t often need, the future really is smarter. And, as the Internet of Things means devices start to talk to each other, it hopefully won’t be long before your Smart Home manages power consumption and wastage even better.
No longer a fringe concern, there are now many choices for the consumer wanting to power their home (or office) more responsibly. Indeed, sustainable energy companies position themselves to offer deals directly competing with the more traditional businesses. And, with wind and solar power becoming cheaper and cheaper to produce, there’s never been a better time to switch. Searching online, you’ll find a range of green energy companies who will explain exactly where they get their renewable power from – and most even offer a prediction of what you might pay.
Recycle and replace
Something many consumers aren’t aware of is just how easy it can be to return technology you’re finished with to manufacturers, retailers or recycling schemes. Even big retailers such as Currys take in around 65,000 tonnes of used electrical products each year. And this can not only reduce the amount of potentially polluting material going into landfills, but also sometimes earn you a modest fee or a discount on your next purchase.