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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

        Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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        Last Updated on September 18, 2020

        7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

        7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

        Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

        Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

        1. Exercise Daily

        It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

        If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

        Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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        If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

        2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

        Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

        One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

        This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

        3. Acknowledge Your Limits

        Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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        Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

        Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

        4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

        Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

        The basic nutritional advice includes:

        • Eat unprocessed foods
        • Eat more veggies
        • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
        • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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        Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

          5. Watch Out for Travel

          Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

          This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

          If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

          6. Start Slow

          Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

          If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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          7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

          Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

          My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

          If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

          I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

          Final Thoughts

          Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

          Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

          More Tips on Getting in Shape

          Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

          Reference

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