Like Valentine’s Day focuses our thoughts on showing appreciation for our loved ones, Earth Day makes us think about new ways to treat the environment right. But taking caring of the planet isn’t a one-day pursuit. Thankfully, a cavalcade of cool eco-friendly products makes it easy to be green.
In the Room
Think of it as Waze for the environment. Tzoa is a portable environmental sensor that you can use to track the temperature, the humidity level, the air quality, and the amount of ultraviolet radiation in the room or even outside. Tzoa encourages users to share and map their data, crowdsourcing it to “locate chronic issues in our communities and take action against sources of harmful issues,” said co-founder Kevin Hart on Live Science. “Overall, we believe that awareness leads to advocacy, which leads to action — and that will perpetuate green technologies.”
In the Shower
Not a fan of dribbly showerheads? High Sierra Showerheads have been designed for low flow without feeling like anything less than the luxurious, full-strength shower you want. Or, keep your shower as is and add Water Pebble, billed as the “eco-friendly, water-activated shower timer.”
“Talk about a tiny device with huge savings! Set it up by the shower drain and it ‘memorizes’ your baseline amount of water used, telling you if you’re using too much or just enough,” said ELUXE MAGAZINE. “With each successive shower, Water Pebble fractionally reduces the amount of water used until you’re using a ‘planet-saving’ amount.” Total water savings over its lifetime are said to be as much as 90,000 gallons.
In the Yard
Apply a similar idea to your lawn and garden with the Droplet sprinkler, a smart sprinkler system that lowers your water output to as little as 10 percent. It hooks up with a Smartphone so you can input all the pertinent data (type of plants, location in the yard, etc.).
On the Roof
Last year was the biggest year ever for solar energy, and the trend looks to continue with new innovations that make it even more attractive to homeowners. Someday solar generators might be replaced by dishes from Ripasso Energy that claim to be able to “covert 34 percent of the sun’s energy into power…making it the world’s most efficient solar electricity system,” said EcoWatch. Another exciting innovation: solar sharing, which will allow people to borrow from each other, at a cost. Early access to Yeloha is now available in a few states and is growing.
On the House
But solar power isn’t just for roofs—now you can use it to provide smart energy management to your windows. RavenWindows respond automatically to the temperature outside the home, using patented technology to block UV wavelengths and limit exposure, resulting in an average 30% reduction in energy use.
In the Walls
A recent Realtor.com infographic on green living found that the top remodeling project for eco-friendly reasons was upgrading insulation, at 71%. Is it sexy? No. But the savings—energy and dollar wise—is. Using spray foam, the fresh face in insulation, can reduce your energy consumption by as much as 50 percent depending on where you live and the age of your home.
On Your Furniture
It’s time for your furniture to make a contribution other than sitting there and looking pretty, right? This dining room table can actually help regulate the temperature without electricity.
“Paris-based industrial designer Jean-Sébastien Lagrange teamed up with French engineer Raphaël Ménard to create the Zero Energy Furniture table, also known as the ZEF Climatic Table,” said Business Insider. “The ZEF table looks like any other with the sleek design of a solid plank oak top and angled legs — but it could hold the secret to cutting energy costs by as much as 60%.”
Even if your furniture isn’t actively working to lower your electric output, it can help lower your footprint. The artisan-crafted Kensington Platform Bed from bambeco uses hand-harvested mature Moso bamboo. Other wood sources from the company are reclaimed American barnwood and FSC®-certified woods.