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10 Green Tech Solutions to Help You Save Money

10 Green Tech Solutions to Help You Save Money

Money doesn’t grow on trees, and trees won’t keep growing unless we get environmentally conscious. The great thing about technology is there are options out there to help solve both of these problems. The Earth keeps getting warmer, so it’s important to think of ways to reduce your carbon footprint. But what about reducing the strain on your wallet? As you’ll see below, action to slow down climate change and methods of saving money aren’t mutually exclusive.

1. Solar panels

solar-panels

    According to Marylhurst University, buildings are responsible for 65% of electricity consumption and 30% of greenhouse-gas emissions in the US. Solar panels are a great way to reduce or even eliminate your dependence on the grid. This will lessen the amount of pollution from power plants and lessen what you pay for electricity. There are the upfront costs of buying and installing panels, but these will be offset by tax credits and overall electricity bill savings. Here, you can access a free calculator to determine costs and savings.

    Solar panel tech isn’t just for the home. NanoGrid’s flexible solar panels fit into your backpack. They weigh only four-and-a-half pounds, and charge a lithium-ion battery. They’ll charge your cell phone and other electronic devices while you’re on the go, and are great for camping or extended trips in countries where electricity sources are few and far between.

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    2. Green cars

    tesla

      There are a number of environmentally friendly options for your vehicle:

      • Convert your engine to run on vegetable oil. Restaurants oftentimes have free waste vegetable oil to power your car
      • Go diesel. Multiple diesel options, such as the Audi A3 TDI, get more than 40 miles to the gallon
      • Go hybrid. You’ll recoup the expense of a $20,000 Prius by getting nearly 50 mpg

      If you’re going to drive, greening your vehicle is a must. This is one of the top ways to personally put a dent in climate change. Car and Driver’s list of hybrid and electric cars is a good starting point for your research. Watch out for the Tesla 3 in 2017. If you can afford to fork out $35,000, you’ll get over 200 miles on a single charge. This pays for itself and then some over time.

      3. Green apps

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      person-hand-smartphone-technology

        There are some great green apps to consider. Green Outlet asks you to identify which appliances you use each month and give an estimate of how much time you spend on them. Then, it calculates how much carbon you’ll use and how much money you’ll spend. This will help you cut down on using those appliances that really cost you and the planet. Green Gas Saver tells you about your driving habits and helps you learn how to drive in a way that cuts down on fuel costs. Green Charging vibrates and sounds an alarm when your phone’s battery is full, so you don’t waste power on overcharging. It also tells you how long you how much phone time you have left at your current battery level.

        4. Rainwater harvesting system

        rainwaterharvest

          This is simple technology that makes a difference. You can either build your own rainwater harvesting system, or there are multiple sites where you can buy one. Through filtration or boiling, you save money on drinking water, cooking water, and bathing water. Non-potable rainwater is great for irrigation, lawns, toilets, and livestock. Here you can find a ton of resources, vendors, and info on rainwater harvesting. This is a whole movement of people who want to minimize wear and tear on aquifers and sewers, as well as conserve on water-usage altogether.

          5. Wind generator

          This is yet another way to cut down on your power bill and use the Earth’s natural resources instead of polluting. A wind generator uses turbines to capture the wind’s energy, which is then transferred to the generator and converted into electricity. Like the rainwater harvesting system, you can either build your own wind generator, or buy one. Treehugger boasts a DIY guide to building one for around $30. You won’t save nearly as much on power with a cheap, homemade version, but anything counts.

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          6. Smart power strips

          When they’re plugged into a power strip or outlet, some devices will continue to drain energy even when they’re off or fully charged. A smart power strip senses when that’s happening, and stops powering the guilty devices. Energy vampires – the devices that drain power unnecessarily – account for about 5 to 10 percent of your house’s energy consumption. A smart strip makes sure these devious devices don’t suck you dry.

          7. Energy monitor

          energymonitor

            Energy monitors are an inexpensive way to cut back on your power usage and lower your bill. There are monitors that measure your entire house’s usage, such as the Blue Line PowerCost Monitor, or there are those that measure how much an individual appliance is using, such as the Kill A Watt EZ Electricity Monitor. The Blue Line simply clamps onto your meter and transmits data to an LCD screen. With the Kill A Watt, you just plug the appliance into it. Either way, both of these can help you catch over-use before your power bill comes.

            8. Energy Star appliances

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            energystar

              Energy Star appliances are the ones you’ll (hopefully) never have to plug into an energy monitor. These products have earned top ratings and a certification from the Environmental Protection Agency. They consume the least amount of energy and perform the best. According to the EPA, the Energy Star program has reduced 2.5 billion tons of greenhouse gases, and has helped people save a collective $362 billion dollars on utilities.

              9. Electric moped

              govecs_electric_scooter_delivery_box

                Compared with electric vehicles, electric mopeds are a lot less expensive, and driving one is a fun way to get around town. The Vectrix Electric Scooter has a 125-volt Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery and hits 50 mph in 6.8 seconds. Electric Vehicle Technology’s Z-20 Electric Scooter goes up to 45 mph with a range of 30-45 miles. The Zapino, meanwhile, can go 30 mph, and you can get an optional lithium-ion battery that will take 65 miles on a single charge. These beasts will save you money if all you really need a vehicle for is a short commute.

                10. Rechargeable batteries

                battery-1071317_640

                  Face it, you’re tired of buying batteries anyhow. The little buggers are expensive, and disposing of them takes up landfill space. PCWorld notes that just one pack of AAs per month will cost you $72 a year, while Energizer’s recharging station and a pack of rechargeables will save you about $50. Just make sure you recycle them when you’re through with them. According to Environment, Health and Safety Online, rechargeable batteries contain the heavy metal Nickel-Cadmium. If that stuff leaks into the waste stream, rechargeables are more hazardous than their worth.

                  Featured photo credit: Mike Bird via pexels.com

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                  Daniel Matthews, CPRP

                  Daniel Matthews is a Certified Psychosocial Rehabilitation Practitioner and freelance writer with an extensive background working with clients on community-based rehabilitation.

                  10 Essential Steps to Success to Actually Reach Your Dreams 15 Telltale Signs of Narcissistic Behavior (And How to Deal With It) What is Psychotherapy? How It Can Help You Achieve Your Dreams 17 Types of Meditation (Techniques and Basics) to Practice Mindfulness Why Happiness is a Choice (And Why It’s a Smart One to Make)

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                  Published on September 20, 2018

                  11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                  11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                  In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                  Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                  In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                  Minimizing Tabs

                  Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                  Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                  Incognito Mode

                  Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                  This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                  Save Webpages as PDF Files

                  Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                  Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                  Open Recently-closed Tabs

                  Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                  One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                  The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                  Solve Mathematical Problems

                  Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                  For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                  Play Media Files

                  Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                  In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                  Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                  With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                  Stay Focus(e)d

                  Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                  Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                  With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                  This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                  Grammarly for Editing

                  Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                  You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                  Loom

                  There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                  There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                  With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                  Chrome Calendar Extension

                  No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                  Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                  Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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