Sustainable living can be very simple, often involving doing less rather than embracing the latest novelty or fast fashion trend.
But when our homes are already “plugged in” to older energy networks, some eco-friendly gadgets can come in handy.
The devices we use, the energy choices we make and the way we dispose of our waste: the impact of our actions adds up.
And while it may seem like small fry compared to decisions made by businesses and governments, making positive environmental decisions in our daily lives can also spur us to greater action.
If you’re looking for inspiration to ‘green’ your home with affordable tweaks, check out this list from UK housekeeping company Rightio.
6. Solar Kettle
A standard electric kettle uses 0.225 kw/h to boil two liters of water, according to Rightio’s calculations. This costs you around €35 per year. Of course, there are small ways to reduce costs and energy consumption, such as boiling only the amount of water you need or using a kettle on the stove. But an even more sustainable solution is at hand: a solar kettle.
Solar energy is readily available and the kettle works at its optimum efficiency when the sun is shining directly on it. Even on an overcast January day, it can produce hot water and keep it warm with just a little sunlight.
It is ideal not only for a bright kitchen but also for going camping.
5. Egloo Candle Room Heater
The biggest contributor to our home energy use is our heating system. What if there was a way to minimize this energy consumption without getting cold?
the Egloo room heater is made up of two Italian terracotta domes that resemble an igloo, hence its name. It is heated by four tealight candles placed on a metal stand between the domes. When heated, it draws in the air in which the heat radiates into the room.
Despite its small size, it is estimated that the Egloo can heat a 20m² room by up to three degrees for five hours for just 7.56 pence (9 cents). Although a bit pricey at around $100, these cute items are a triple threat: they can also be used as a diffuser and humidifier.
4. Lemon Clock
Admittedly, a clock is not the biggest consumer of energy in the house. But you can go completely off-grid with a ticker powered by lemons. Strange as it may seem, when the citric acid from the lemon is combined with the copper and zinc from this clock, a current is produced that is strong enough to power the clock for a week.
Don’t forget to reset the time once you’ve changed the lemons.
3. H2O Shower Radio
Did you know that listening to music and singing in the shower can be long-lasting and fun? the H2O shower radio is powered by water pressure from the shower. You can also listen to it while brushing your teeth as excess energy is stored in its internal battery. When you turn it back on, it will automatically tune to the last station you were jamming to.
2. Smart Thermostat
On a more practical note, smart thermostats are available in the UK and many other European countries. These work by connecting to your Wi-Fi to learn your lighting and heating preferences, throughout your daily schedule.
It uses this information to optimize your energy and electricity consumption, ensuring that you are not using all the cylinders when no one is home. This might be a useful thing to consider if you’re returning to the office after working from home.
1. Smart LED bulbs
It is a well known fact that LED bulbs are much more efficient than incandescent bulbs. They can reduce your energy costs by up to 20%. But the newest addition to eco-friendly lighting — an LED smart bulb — is a real game-changer, according to Rightio.
LED smart bulbs have one advantage: they can connect to your phone via Bluetooth so you can take full control of how they work. This means you can turn off lights in unoccupied rooms or change their color to suit your mood.