These days, the idea of becoming more sustainable isn’t just an abstract concept, or something that Australians are content in leaving up to governments, businesses and brands to take the lead on. It’s an issue that many of us are tackling in our own lives, habits and homes, too.
According to Nielsen, some 77% of Australian households count ‘environmental issues’ as a major concern. The good news is that, in our current age of tech abundance, there are plenty of gizmos, gadgets, platforms and even subscription services that can help us not just keep tabs on our environmental impact, but effectively minimise it too.
And while the ultimate aim for any environmentally-conscious individual would be to use less power and consume less in every aspect of their life, that isn’t always possible, or easy. In those cases where it isn’t, tech can certainly lend a helping hand.
1. Smart power strips
Imagine if your sockets could let you know exactly how much energy you’re wasting by leaving your electrical goods on standby? That’s exactly what a smart power strip does. It’ll track the usage of whatever’s plugged into it (so you can see which device is sucking up the most power) and enable you to control each appliance individually from a super-simple smartphone app – even if you’re out of the house. You can set timers and schedules, and these things are even compatible with your favourite virtual assistants. Hey Siri, save the environment.
2. Smart lightbulbs
Even if you’re renting and can’t hard-wire your entire house into a smart lighting grid, you can buy individual smart bulbs that you can control from basically anywhere. Again, you can even ask your virtual assistant to turn the lights on or off for you. Super handy if you’ve left the house with all bulbs blazing, right? And if you can’t be bothered with intelligent lightbulbs, you can download the Light Bulb Saver App. This app has all the info you need for more environmentally-friendly lighting solutions. (Tip one: use it less!)
3. Fitness trackers/smart watches
Fitness trackers and even many smart watches are specifically engineered to keep us active. They encourage users to walk, run, swim or bike their way around the world. Some even dole out rewards and other incentives. While the primary goal is obviously a healthier population, there’s a secondary benefit too. More people walking, cycling and running to work (or wherever they’re going) means less cars on the road, less gas being used, and less CO2 produced.
Then again, there aren’t many fitness trackers or smart watches out there that are super sustainably produced, so you could always just forgo the gadget and walk everywhere anyway. Just an idea.
4. Get a good power company
Some power companies, offer detail-rich apps that help you see exactly how much power you’re using on any given day. For many people, being able to see their consumption in close to real-time is the first step in realising just how much power they’re wasting, or how much they could save with just a couple of minor tweaks.
5. Sign up to an offset subscription service
To reiterate our intro, the best way to cut your emissions is to literally just consume less. It’s pretty simple. Thing is, unless you want to go and live in a tree, it’s nigh-on impossible to not have some kind of environmental impact. So the next best thing you can do is to try and offset that impact. Launched in 2019, Offset Earth exists to make offsetting as straightforward as possible. The gist is this: you subscribe and provide some basic information about your family and lifestyle (or your business). Then you pay a fixed amount each month. That amount then funds renewable energy projects around the world, which aim to remove harmful co2 from the atmosphere. Simples.
Now that you’re armed with tips to do your part for Earth, why not do a bit of thrifty thinking to help your pocket with this blog.