Whether you believe that global warming is a serious (or surmountable) problem or not, there is no denying that we need to cut down on our energy consumption. It’s easy to get caught up in the belief that is too big a problem to solve at the individual level. But it is actually the small, forgotten, day-to-day things that can actually make the biggest difference; those things that increase our own personal carbon footprints. Wasted energy at home, unnecessary trips in our cars, overuse of water — these are all things of which most of us are guilty. But they are all preventable with a bit of effort, and a bit of help from smart home technology.
Is Home Automation the Answer?
Home automation is revolutionizing our home lives and completely changing the way that we do things. It is more than just home security, although there a lot of cool accessories that help you stay safe — it’s more about simultaneously making things easier and saving us money. It is a wonder that we need any further persuasion to automate our homes. But one of the unsung benefits of home automation is the impact that it has on lessening our environmental impact. Indeed, it is often seen as a convenient byproduct to the main purpose. But whatever the reason that people automate their homes, the result is the same, and we are one step closer to lessening our impacts on the environment.
As the earth’s resources are getting ever closer to being picked dry, renewable energy is increasingly sought after. As a result, most of the newest home automation smart gadgets have been focused on energy conservation. Solar and wind energy can now be harnessed for your home, allowing you to generate your own energy. Smart power strips allow you to cut out energy-sucking “vampires” and save money as well as energy, and energy monitors and smart thermostats are now becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. You can also hook your lights up to controllers or motion detectors so that shut off automatically when not in use.
Knock on Effects
The most effective energy-saving devices may be those that are disguised entirely as conveniences. For example, a WiFi-enabled fridge might not be something that you might describe as eco-friendly. But using it to create a shopping list and send it to your phone eliminates the need for paper, and also cuts down on unnecessary trips to and from the store in your car. Water filters may provide you with better drinking water, but they also cut down on the production of plastic water bottles and the subsequent waste and pollution that such production causes.
Home automation can also cut down the amount of water that you waste. Sprinkler automation systems, for example, allow you to better control your sprinklers, so that they run on a more intelligent schedule. There are also products such as the Waterpebble that will monitor how long your showers are, and help you to cut back gradually.
Home automation may not be dramatically swooping in to save the planet with a giant single idea. But it is certainly changing the way that we live, and reducing our environmental impact.