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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 September 16, 2019

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

        We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

        The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

        Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

        1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

        Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

        For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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        • (1) Research
        • (2) Deciding the topic
        • (3) Creating the outline
        • (4) Drafting the content
        • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
        • (6) Revision
        • (7) etc.

        Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

        2. Change Your Environment

        Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

        One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

        3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

        Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

        Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

        My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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        Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

        4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

        If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

        Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

        I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

        5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

        I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

        Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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        As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

        6. Get a Buddy

        Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

        I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

        7. Tell Others About Your Goals

        This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

        For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

        8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

        What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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        9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

        If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

        Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

        10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

        Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

        Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

        11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

        At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

        Reality check:

        I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

        More About Procrastination

        Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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