Sustainable Living & Sustainable Lifestyle

Check out some of the more popular technologies helping you go green.

Everyday Technologies That Help You Go Green

Climate change has been the most pressing issue facing mankind for the past century. It’s fairly obvious that our impact on the planet cannot be underestimated and must be controlled in order to protect our way of life for the foreseeable future.

But as both our use of resources and population numbers have multiplied over the past century, so too have green technologies that help us lessen our impact on the environment.

The rapid rise in processing power that we’ve experienced over the recent past has allowed us to integrate intelligence into a number of objects previously deemed analog. It’s not just our phones that have gotten ’smart’ but a whole variety of different inanimate objects which we’ve turned into mini computers.

Using this technology to improve the way we consume our limited and valuable resources could be the biggest force in helping the masses consume less and decrease their carbon footprint. We are promised a significant growth in efficiency and this is precisely what we need if we are to hope for a greener, healthier future.

Here’s a list of some of the most recent and popular forms of technology that can help us go green.

Smart Homes

Although the industry is still small and a lot of the products are still prototypes in their embryonic stages of development, the potential for is technology is clear. Microprocessors are more advanced and cheaper than ever before, so incorporating them into your average home appliance seems like the next logical step.

Everyday technologies help you go greenCompanies such as Nest have developed smart thermostats and fire detectors to improve the way energy is used and managed in the home. The company believes that people simply do not mess with their thermostats since it’s fairly complex. A smart thermostat automatically adjusts the settings when it notices people are either out of the house or simply not using one room a lot. The company’s products were so popular that Google recently acquired them for a whopping $3.2 billion!

Heating up homes across the world is one of the biggest forms of energy consumption, so making this process more efficient promises to save a lot of fuel in aggregate, while also bringing costs down for households and businesses around the globe.

Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaning

Current dry cleaning methods use certain chemicals that have been considered harmful to the people in contact with them. Finding a new, harmless solution became a key concern to change the reputation of the industry. Thankfully, there is a more environmentally friendly option for this modern luxury.

A popular new method of dry cleaning involves the use of CO2 instead of chemicals. Wet cleaning using perchlorothylene has dominated the industry because of low costs of machines (5). The reality is that the machine cost may be cheaper, but wet cleaning has a higher operating cost than CO2 cleaning, because of the added waste disposal.

The CO2 solvent is remarkably less harmful as it is nonflammable and nontoxic, unlike its petrochemical substitutes. CO2 also outperforms wet cleaning, since clothes do not stretch or lose their shape after being dry cleaned via this process.

These machines use a recycled liquid CO2 byproduct from operations, causing no impact to global warming, and are deemed to have no negative impact on the surrounding environment. Dry cleaning companies that utilize CO2 in the process can be found in most cities and the list is ever-growing, but until smaller companies have assistance from the government in spending, the industry will be heavily focused on wet chemical cleaning.

Going Paperless

Offices completely devoid of paper may have seemed to be science fiction just a few decades ago but it’s become a very popular practice now. More and more corporations around the world are leveraging technology to replace the need for paper.

Scanning and storing documents online is but one way in which companies can now decrease their need for paper in daily activities. Cloud services such as Dropbox or Microsoft’s OneDrive allow companies and individuals to not only store regular work documents such as spreadsheets and reports online but also to serve as collaboration tools so that teams can remotely work together on the same document without printing several copies each time a new version is created.

Information is now gathered online, edited on the computer and sent to clients all without the need for a single sheet of paper. The impact this has had on the environment is immense. Millions of trees have been saved, not to mention the cost savings that businesses can expect by going paperless.

Mushroom GreenZero Wall Charger

Not a lot of people know that wall chargers continue to pull energy while plugged in and not used. Because most offices and have so many electrical devices plugged in, it can be difficult to remember to unplug every single item you’re not using.

This is why French design firm Osungu recently launched the Mushroom Green Zero Travel Wall Charger. The charger automatically switches off when it notices that the device is unplugged and not charging any more. This tech is great for the environment and for your electrical bills as well.

One of the biggest obstacles to improving environmental conditions is the fact that our daily habits are so ingrained in our lifestyles. But these handy technologies make it easy to live in a way that lessens the damage we do to our planet.

Jon Wikstrom is a passionate environmentalist who’s making it his life’s work to advance green manufacturing technologies. John is the founder of Cool Clean Technologies, a Minnesota company that designs custom dry CO2 cleaning and cooling systems for a wide variety of industries. Click here to learn more.

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