Committing to a more sustainable lifestyle is a matter of choice, and nowhere are these choices reflected more immediately than home. You might think that introducing more technology into your home would translate into more energy — and thus, make for less sustainable choices. However, with a lot of technology generally moving toward minimizing our negative impact on the environment, you’ll find that it doesn’t have to be one or the other.
A greener, smarter home for you
How can a “smart home” be the greener option? The term “smart” is twofold: while it refers to increased functionality, it also means minimizing the use of resources. Simply put, you should aim for technology that offers both. Smart home technology links the electronics and systems of your home and allows them to be remotely activated and time-controlled. Ever left a light on when not in use? This is where innovative technology comes in. Think of it as filling in the gaps to let you run your home as environmentally sound as possible.
Tech to invest in
The way our homes are built actually plays a massive role in our impact on the environment. While it’s easier to incorporate energy-efficient features into new builds, some pre-existing properties were not exactly designed with sustainability in mind. Retrofit smart technology is the solution. Here are some you can consider for your home:
1. Temperature control
A smart thermostat is one of the more obvious energy-efficient additions to make to your home. By allowing you to regulate your home’s temperature and energy consumption remotely, you would be able to minimize your carbon footprint and cut costs in the long run. Because it’s connected and managed through your smartphone, you can shut off electronics you might have accidentally left on or reduce the heating in real-time, even when not at home. Newer smart thermostats like the Nest even adapt to your temperature preferences and schedule.
Lighting is necessary, so it’s one of the most important opportunities to implement more innovative changes in your home. Go beyond using LED lighting and opt for a smart lighting system like Philips Hue. Linked with a smartphone app, you can easily control your home’s lighting. You can even create custom scenes and change their colors according to your mood.
3. Hubs or controllers
Home automation devices can come in handy in managing your household as they offer a more centralized and streamlined way to manage all your apps and devices. From lighting to air quality, this technology allows you to access everything with a simple voice command. Check out Google Home or Apple HomePod.
Depending on what you’re looking for, the options for security are vast, including everything from smart locks to security systems with video analytics. Sophisticated surveillance cameras even come with motion sensors and night vision, such as Amazon’s Cloud Cam. Be able to monitor your home wherever you are through a live feed with smart security systems.
If you’re thinking of quicker and more accessible smart home hacks, you can begin by making a few switches on your usual products and appliances.
5. Water filter
Purchasing a water filter might seem like a minor change, but it will save you from single-use plastic bottles that will ultimately end up in landfills.
6. Eco-friendly paint
It may not seem like a huge change-up, but opting for environmentally safe paint helps minimize the release of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. When remodeling your home, make sure to check out eco-friendly, odorless paint—color choices are extensive, too!
7. Smart outlet
If you’re not quite ready to make drastic changes to your home, one way to reduce energy consumption is by using a smart outlet. Connected via WiFi, a smart outlet can accommodate existing appliances or electronics that you would then control easily.
8. Dual flush toilet
To reduce the wastefulness of flushing, you can invest in a dual flush toilet in your home. This device helps to conserve water by running on two modes: one for liquid waste and one for solid. Its mechanism minimizes the amount of water for liquid waste.
9. Window and door treatments
Eco-friendly options for your window and door treatments will help you save in terms of cooling or heating. Even if you’re just going for better insulation or getting a smart system installed altogether, this can be a simple but impactful way to conserve energy.
DIY practices to include in your routine
For a more eco-friendly home, integrate these practices into your everyday routine:
1. Keep a compost pit
Food waste isn’t always avoidable—the best way to address kitchen scraps is through a compost pit. Other than waste reduction, it also increases organic matter and water retention in soil.
2. Nurture houseplants
Apart from the respite that a touch of green will add to your indoor spaces, houseplants are known to purify the air.
3. DIY your cleaning products
Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice are among the best natural cleaning products you can use. Skip out the harmful chemicals and do a little research so you can make these natural mixtures at home.
4. Plan your meals
Be efficient in the kitchen by planning your meals and storing food properly. Both steps will lead to less food waste.
Start at home
Sustainability efforts shouldn’t stop at picking out the proper smart devices for your living space. Along with individual behaviors and lifestyle changes, “smart-ifying” your home will take you one step closer to more conscientious living — and ultimately, better choices every day.
Written by Serene Yu
About the Author
Serene Yu is the Vice President of New Manila San Juan, the premiere real estate marketplace for luxury properties in the Philippines. Serene is a well-versed writer and marketer that enjoys keeping up with the latest trends in real estate, interior design, and technology. Outside work she enjoys travelling, cooking, and baking.
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