We are living in world that has changed so rapidly over the past 12 months, it is unlikely to ever be the same. We have been spending more time at home and watching our finances a little more closely than usual.
The one benefit that has come out of this pandemic is the reduction in global pollution. We’ve seen parts of the world revive itself with cleaner air and even fish returning to the canals of Venice! As a result, people are increasingly concerned about sustainability and how they can improve their environment impact.
As avid DIYers, we’ve pulled together a list of our 6 favourite devices that can help reduce negative impacts on the environment while saving you a heap of money, sounds like a win-win to us!
1. Energy Efficient LED Lights
LED lights are a quick win when it comes to saving energy and money. Lighting in a home contributes to approximately 10% of the household’s energy bill. Incandescent bulbs chew up 75% more energy than LED lights and they also have a lifespan of 1,200 hours, whereas LED lights can work up to 50,000 hrs! It’s crazy to think why you haven’t switched sooner!
LED lights cost slightly more that incandescent bulbs, however given their lifespan, you’ll save a heap of money buying fewer bulbs and have lower energy bills, while also reducing your environment footprint!
Our favourite energy efficient LED light is the Great Eagle 100W. This light bulb provides an 87% reduction in energy usage and only costs 1.81/year or under .01/day to operate at 3 hours per day. It comes in a pack of 6 or 24 blubs and in four versatile colors to suit any room.
2. Wifi- Enabled Smart Thermostat
A Smart Thermostat might appear to be a bit more technical than changing light bulbs, but it can save you up to $150 a year in energy bills. Considering on average almost half of the household energy bill is from heating and cooling, so you might want to seriously consider this option.
Smart thermostats save you money by shutting off the heating and cooling in a house when there is no one it. Being wifi enabled, you can switch on the smart thermostat via your cell phone as you are heading home, so the house is at a comfortable temperature when you arrive.
Our favourite smart thermostat is the Google Nest Learning Thermostat. This small sleek device is super easy to install and set up, even for tech beginners. Being wifi-enabled means it can be controlled through a cell phone, tablet or laptop when you are in or outside of the home. The smart feature of this thermostat is that it remembers your temperature preferences, keeps an eye on the weather outside and learns how your home warms up to ensure your home is comfortable 24/7. The Nest also keeps a history of your energy usage for you to review and displays a green leaf when you choose a temperature that saves energy so you can stay on top of your energy bills and environment footprint. What more could you ask for?!
3. Retractable Clothes Line
From smart technology to something as mundane as a retractable clothesline- but don’t underestimate it’s power in helping the environment. In warm weather, hanging your clothes on the line to dry will not only save you energy, but also give your garments great longevity. Whites will maintain their brightness and your clothes will have a beautiful sun-dried, fresh air feel that dryers just aren’t unable to achieve. If you make a habit of using the clothesline on the sunny days, you could see a significant difference in your energy bill.
Our favourite retractable clothes line is the Brabantia WallFix. This product offers 24m of clothes line that can hold a full load of washing up to 20kg. The line stows away discreetly and stylishly in a stainless-steel wall mounted protective storage case which has a smooth one handed single movement opening and closing. The line can be positioned at your preferred height and is great for small outdoor areas such as balconies and patios. The product comes with a 5 year warranty.
4. Water Efficient Shower Head
Who doesn’t love a hot shower?! What makes a great shower is the pressure of the water as opposed to the amount of water coming through. The average American uses 2.1 gallons per min for a shower, to save water and energy you want to aim below this figure.
Water efficient shower heads are designed with smaller holes that produce strong water pressure. This reduces to amount of water used overall whilst still ensuring you get a thorough rinse in less time. These shower heads conserve hot water and save you money on your energy and water bills!
Many shower heads are advertised as energy saving and water efficient, however they produce 2.5 gallons per min (which is more than the average!), so make sure you look for this detail when choosing your water efficient shower head.
We know water pressure in a shower is important, it’s why most people enjoy taking a shower, so we’ve picked a product that does this and still saves you money. There are shower heads out there that use less water than our pick, however often the water pressure is compromised, decreasing the enjoyment of a shower.
Based on this our favourite water efficient shower head is the Speakman Hotel Low Flow Shower Head. This awesome product has high-pressure rainfall for an invigorating hot shower while only using a maximum water flow of 1.75 gallons per min, saving energy and money! Speakman has an adjustable shower head which can easily transitions between intense, massage and combination water spray patterns, suitable for the entire family.
5. Energy Saving Power Switch
Did you know that even if your device is plugged into a power outlet that is switched off, it is still consuming a significant amount of energy? To save energy, you need to physically unplug the devices when they are not in use, but who’s got the time to do that? This is where energy saving power switches come in handy, they are designed to draw zero to little energy from the outlet when the switch is flipped off.
We’ve actually got two favourite options for energy saving power switches depending on how technical you want to get.
For a basic super simple switch, we recommend the Belkin Conserve Energy Saving Outlet. This outlet has three timer options of ½ hour, 3 or 6 hours, which is great for devices such as kettles, toasters, TVs, lamps and anything else that doesn’t get used when you are out during the day.
If you are keen to have state of the art energy saving technology in your home, then we recommend the Gosund Smart Mini Plug. This plug allows you to schedule and time devices around your lifestyle through your cell phone, tablet or laptop. You can turn on the slow-cooker from work so the meal will be ready come dinner time. It also allows you to monitor the devices that are switch on while you are out and turn them off straight from your cell phone, giving your greater control of your home’s energy consumption and bill. Gosund is compatible with Alexa and Google Home Assitant so you can also control it with simple voice commands too. Gosund is easy to install and the app is user friendly, even for tech beginners.
6. Solar Powered Path Lights
Solar powered path lights are a simple and effective way to conserve energy and reduce your utility bill. Using solar powered devices outdoors is a no-brainer as this is where you can capture the most sunlight for as long as the sun is out- I bet you are wondering why you haven’t done this sooner! Solar-powered lights allow for gardens, pools and patio areas to be lit up at night for safety and security reasons. These lights are easy to stake into the ground and are able to withstand most weather conditions. They come in a range of designs to suit all landscaping styles.
We recommend the Solar Pathway Lights by XMCOSY+. These lights come in a versatile design to suit most landscapes and the brightness of the light can be adjusted to your requirements. The solar panels on these lights are larger and designed to increase the amount of solar absorption, getting up to 10 hours of light throughout the night with zero energy costs! The lights are sturdy and well made with an aluminium stake, stainless steel body and glass lens, they are built to last. They are also very easy to install and move around if needed.
These quick and easy home improvement projects cost less than $200 and you will these investments pay off quickly with reduced energy bills and a step towards a better environment. Importantly, all of these products are simple and fast to install, so there are no excuses to jump onto these money saving, environmentally conscious projects right away!
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