Although green living involves us cutting back on our energy use, it does not mean we have to compromise our lifestyle and detach ourselves from gadgets or electronics. In fact, we can use smart gadgets like our phone to make sustainable changes. In this next edition of the Eco-Friendly Trend Report, we will go over gadget trends across home, technology, travel, and lifestyle to see how people are using them to make a greener impact on their lifestyle.
“Smart” appliances have been around for a few years, but now a new batch of energy-efficient gadgets might allow the technology to catch on with more households. Most notable is the smart thermostat, which allows you to control your home’s heat and air conditioning remotely via your phone or computer. New thermostats like Nest, can be programmed to learn the times you wake up and go to sleep and provide a desired temperature, saving energy when you do not need it.
Also trending are streaming devices like the Google Chromecast and Apple TV to watch your favorite TV shows or movies. Connected to the Internet, these devices bring content directly to your TV rather than you going to to purchase DVDs. This cuts on greenhouse emissions from driving and from purchasing items that have also produced greenhouse gas emissions in their manufacturing.
Being able to control homes through these smart devices allows you to make better decisions for energy efficiency, while saving both time and money. And this is just the beginning for these gadgets – we see every home appliance and system coming loaded with a smart option in the future.
From beautiful panoramic photography to delivering pizzas, drones have become a hot trend with an increase in the number of applications and uses. Drones are easy to maneuver, offering sky-high reach and reduced labor costs. Research is being conducted on having drones perform a variety of functions for the environment, including protecting endangered species, tracking sea ice decline, and assisting with agriculture. Drones are also envisioned for a greener future, where fleets of them can be used to plant entire forests.
In our last eco-friendly report, we discussed hospitality services like Airbnb and how they represent more efficient use of resources. Hotels are also catching on and introducing new practices to be economically responsible. In addition to greener methods such as encouraging guests to reuse towels or highlighting local cuisine in their restaurants, many hotels have implemented a mobile experience. Rather than manually checking in and out and being given paper documents, guests can simply use an app or even text the hotel throughout their stay.
Consumers these days are becoming a lot more aware of the ingredients and materials used in their daily products. As a result, companies have made an effort to increase their eco labels – products that are minimally processed, organic and non-toxic. Shoppers are using eco-friendly apps and websites like Good Guide and Skin Deep to receive third-party ratings on the chemicals within their personal care products. The rise of these “eco-friendly” apps allows shoppers to make better decisions on items that are ethically and responsibly made and/or biodegradable.
In addition to eco label apps, eco-friendly phone apps in general have exploded on the market and people are incorporating them into their lifestyle. There are now apps that allow you to monitor real-time data on how you’re using your water, or allow you to input your daily activities and calculate your daily ecological footprint. People are using their wearable tech, such as a FitBit, to set fitness goals and to encourage more walking and sustainable commuting.
In all these of trends, we see that advances are being made toward using technology to achieve a more eco-friendly and responsible way of life. What better way to go green than with the item that you have with you the most – your phone? The good news in all of this is that an eco-friendly lifestyle is more accessible than we think and has the potential to become a positive daily ritual for all of us. What eco-friendly trends are you seeing in gadgets? Let us know on Facebook! Want to find out the eco-friendliness of your home? Take our Green Home Quiz.