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How Technology Can Help You Create an Eco-Friendly Home

How Technology Can Help You Create an Eco-Friendly Home

There’s no doubt about it, the world is on the brink of an environmental disaster that is proving exceptionally hard to mitigate. Global warming, the unimpeded use of single-use plastics, and many, many other factors are creating a situation that is spiraling out of control.

In his seminal essay on the roots of our current ecological crisis, Lynn White Jr, argues that humans have always been a dynamic force, crafting and shaping the ecosystem in order for it to best serve humanity as we see fit. While technology is arguably at the core of the crisis, if we accept that mass-scale environmental damage is a consequence of industrial progress, technology is also providing a saving grace.

We have crafted intelligent systems that allow us to better conserve energy, help stamp out illegal and environmentally harmful practices, and even track pollinators such as bees and wasps to discover why these essential creatures are dying. Internet of Things (Iot) technologies lie at the core of all these solutions.

IoT pertains to networks of interconnected devices. Be it smart recording systems that detect illegal deforestation or the use of blockchain to track and trace the provenance of tuna, IoT offers clever and adaptable ways to help combat the ecological mess we’ve created.

These tools are not reserved for larger, global projects either. You can create an eco-friendly home and do your bit for the environment with Green IoT tools too. Here, we go over a few of the top smart devices that can help your home’s environmental footprint and probably save you money in the process too.

Ways to Boost Your Home’s Eco Credentials

Use a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats have gotten a lot of press in recent years, and with good reason. These tools are one of the easiest ways you can make your home more eco-friendly. And as an added bonus, smart thermostats save you money because you’re not unnecessarily using your heating and/or cooling system.

Your smart thermostat can be controlled via a smartphone app, so if you happen to walk out the door and forget to switch off your system, you can do so no matter where you are.

Try Outlet Monitors to Track Wastage

Outlet monitors are clever little tools that track and trace which appliances or devices in your home are using the most energy. They are like little plugs that act as a conduit between other plug-in things and your smartphone, allowing you to see where your home’s energy footprint is being wasted. Control the outlet monitors and connected appliances from a smartphone app.

Garden with Smart Sprinkler Systems

Automating your vegetable garden is now simple thanks to AI-powered sprinkler systems. These tools are placed in your garden and operate much like a traditional sprinkler does but with a critical difference. Smart sprinklers save you both money and water by only watering the garden when conditions are optimal. They do this by reading the weather, and, in advanced systems, by monitoring how moist the soil is.

Cut Down on Food Waste with a Smart Fridge

Given the initial outlay cost, this option might not be for everyone. But if you’re willing to financially invest in a greener home, a smart fridge is an incredible solution. Modern IoT enabled fridges do much more than just make ice when you ask them too. These devices can actively prevent food waste by helping you track expiration dates. And in a world where the gap between haves and have-nots is only increasing, food waste is a major issue. 

Install Solar Panels

Installing your own solar panels was once a very costly process indeed. But thankfully, as generating our own energy and operating smart grids becomes more popular, the cost of using your home’s own green energy is dropping. Once you have your panels installed, you can use a smartphone app to monitor how much energy you’ve generated and how much you’ve saved off your traditional power bill.

Of course, a home can also be eco-friendly without being smart, but for many of us, IoT technology provides some of the easiest ways to cut out wastage and energy usage. And in the process, lessen our own footprints.

There is one consideration that needs to be taken into account when you make the switch to a smart home or a greater network of IoT tools, and that is cybersecurity.

Securing Your Home’s IoT Network

As the name suggests, IoT tools are internet-connected. Each communicates with your home’s wifi network and interacts with other tools. What this means is that one device can conceivably be used to hack into another device or system. If it sounds like the stuff of science fiction at first, consider a few recent examples, such as a casino’s systems being hacked via a smart fish tank!

You don’t want to put any devices that contain personal or financial information at risk. Nor do you want to leave your home’s IoT network at risk of manipulation by any nefarious persons. Luckily, securing your network is simple.

Use a Virtual Private Network (aka VPN) enabled router instead of a regular router. When you use a VPN router, your data and your network are hidden through a process known as tunneling. This means that treat actors cannot see or detect your devices’ communications with each other. It also means that any browsing you do on the internet is shielded from prying eyes and your data transmissions are encrypted.

What this means is that this nifty solution not only effectively secures all the smart interconnected devices in your home, but it also increases your privacy and cybersecurity while you use the internet. It’s a win-win for IoT enabled homes.

Going Green With Tech

Making your home more energy-efficient and reducing your environmental footprint is becoming easier thanks to IoT technologies. While we might have a long way to go when it comes to fixing the mess we’ve inflicted on Mother Nature, if we each do our bit we’re taking baby steps towards an overall solution. And those steps can start at home.

BIO:

Amy Cavendish

Amy Cavendish is a content strategist at TechFools, a tech blog aiming to inform readers about the potential dangers of technology and introduce them to the best ways to protect themselves online. As an outspoken advocate for digital freedom, Amy is dedicated to empowering her readers to take control of their digital lives with her thought-leadership articles.

This article was submitted exclusively to CrystalWind.ca by Amy Cavendish

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