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5 Techy Ways to Make Your Home more Eco-Friendly

5 Techy Ways to Make Your Home more Eco-Friendly

In 1957, a study on earth’s climate conducted by scientist Roger Revelle discovered a frightening ecological phenomenon with the potential to disrupt the world’s climate, animal and plant life as we know it. By 1970, further scientific research had begun to validate these findings. They showed that human activities and the amount of carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere had sparked rapid changes such as droughts and famine in Africa, the Ukraine, and India.

This phenomenon was termed ‘global warming’ and the rapid changes it fostered in the twentieth century forced the international community to come up with several solutions to tackle the amount of fossil fuels burned by implementing the United Nation’s Paris Agreement. As admirable as this agreement is, it is also important to note that the task of stabilizing the earth’s ecosystems falls on our collective shoulders and each of us has a part to play in tackling global warming. Here are 5 technological revolutions you can apply in making your home more eco-friendly.

1. Start by Shrinking Your Carbon Profile

The first step in shrinking the amount of carbon dioxide your home produces is to identify the errant products or items that need to go. These products range from your cooling and heating conditioning systems to the food your family consumes. The next step is replacing these items with energy-efficient alternatives. The mobile app GoodGuide has been developed to provide you with a simple means of calculating the energy efficiency levels of the items you buy in your local market. The GoodGuide app has helped many people find eco-friendly products while they shop through taking a photo of an item’s barcode, then instantly providing information on how green the item is through a science-based rating.

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2. Light up with Energy Efficient Bulbs

The traditional incandescent 60-watt bulbs used in most homes uses up 0.84 kilowatts per day if used for 14 hours. If you calculate its monetary cost, you will discover that it costs about $30 per year to run. Unlike the incandescent bulb, an energy efficient bulb—either the Light Emitting Diode (LED) or Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)—uses 25 to 85 percent less energy than the incandescent bulb. These technologically advanced options drastically reduce your energy consumption in the long run.

    3. Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances

    Have you heard of the Energy Star label? In short, the Energy Star label is an initiative of the Environmental Protection Agency that helps manufacturers meet energy efficiency standards. It is quite similar to the ‘Quality Control’ pass but it focuses on pin-pointing energy-efficient products. Products with the Energy Star label are certified to be eco-friendly. An example is the Goal Zero recharging kit, which is a great product that reduces dependency on power outlets through its unique use of solar energy.

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      4. Power Your Home with Renewable Energy

      Incorporating renewable energy sources as a solution to tackling energy wastage problems is not anything new, but its low usage rate by homeowners is quite troubling. Currently, multiple tax breaks and tax credits have been earmarked to serve as incentive for residents of both domestic and commercial building structures to adopt renewable energy policies. The tech community has also played a part in tackling these usage issues. The Green-e Energy project is currently making it quite easy for everyone to seek renewable energy sources.

      Through the Green-e Energy project, you to locate and patronize utility companies that generate at least 50% of their energy from green sources by simply conducting a quick online search. Conversely, the Wind Farm Locator app provides another option for locating wind projects, checking out their installed capacity, and taking advantage of the clean energy they offer.

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        5. Clean with Eco-friendly Cleaning Products

        On average, 60 percent of the cleaning products and agents used domestically are harmful to both your personal health and the earth’s environment. In 2000, the US Poison Control Center stated that cleaning agents contribute 10 percent of all toxic exposures the department processed. This means that a large portion of the soaps, detergents, sprays, and disinfectants we use are not eco-friendly. To tackle this, some tech solutions have already been developed which do away with the harmful toxins which are the by-products of cleaning agents. Sanitary Tech products such as eco-resh, which makes use of UV rays, smart sensors, and apps for remote access are also used.

        The responsibility of fighting global warming falls on all of us, and with eco-friendly domestic items, we can leave a better planet for generations to come.

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        Featured photo credit: creativeart / Freepik via freepik.com

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        Vikas Agrawal

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        Last Updated on March 13, 2019

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

        You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

        Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

        1. Work on the small tasks.

        When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

        Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

        2. Take a break from your work desk.

        Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

        Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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        3. Upgrade yourself

        Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

        The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

        4. Talk to a friend.

        Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

        Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

        5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

        If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

        Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

        Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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        6. Paint a vision to work towards.

        If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

        Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

        Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

        7. Read a book (or blog).

        The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

        Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

        Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

        8. Have a quick nap.

        If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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        9. Remember why you are doing this.

        Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

        What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

        10. Find some competition.

        Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

        Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

        11. Go exercise.

        Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

        Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

        As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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        Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

        12. Take a good break.

        Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

        Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

        Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

        Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

        More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

        Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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