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8 Best Green Gadgets: Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Common Home Tech [2024]

Electricity and electronics have become integral to daily life. However, your devices could be detrimental to the environment due to their power consumption. 

How can you reduce your carbon footprint at home? What green alternatives are the best to replace your current gadgets? 

Technological advancements have optimized nearly every aspect of home life. Here are eight gadgets you should consider for a greener home. 

8 Green Gadgets to Make Your Home More Sustainable

1. Smart Thermostats

Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit is among your home’s most significant power consumers. This appliance works all day to keep the house comfortable even when you sleep. 

Think about your day if the heating and cooling didn’t work. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) says Americans used about 10% of their electricity for cooling in 2022. A broken AC leads to sweating and miserable days. 

The higher demand for heating and cooling calls for smart thermostats to maintain efficiency and comfort. They are terrific for temperature control even when you’re not at home. 

These devices track your habits and use artificial intelligence (AI) to adjust your schedule. For example, it will know you like the thermostat at 70 F when you get home at 5:30 p.m.

Green Gadgets - Smart Thermostat

2. Energy Star Appliances

Besides the HVAC, you should be aware of the other high-energy appliances in your home. The refrigerator, freezer and oven require a lot of power throughout the day. Living without these items makes life much harder, so consider energy-efficient alternatives. 

Energy Star appliances have top-of-the-line efficiency and ensure low power consumption. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started Energy Star in 1992 to inform consumers about energy efficiency. 

With this information, you can better determine what products would make your home more environmentally friendly. Energy Star has a broad reach, informing consumers on dishwashers, refrigerators and more. 

KSDK News and Consumer Reports examine how you can make energy-efficient upgrades and obtain a $300 rebate for installing a gas, oil or propane water heater:

3. LED Bulbs

Consider light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs if you’re looking for smaller-scale alternatives. These fixtures are more efficient than incandescent and fluorescent lights. You get brighter, longer-lasting lightbulbs that emit less heat, making summers a little more tolerable. 

A big advantage of LED lights is their low voltage required for usage. A small power supply makes using solar lights in the backyard easier. The low power still provides brightness, increasing security and peace of mind when needed.

Another significant benefit of LED bulbs is their operation in any weather. Extreme heat or cold can make regular fixtures give out. However, LEDs work just as well in the cold as comfortable temperatures. It’s common to see restaurants and grocery stores use them in large refrigerated areas. 

Another benefit is their emissions. LEDs produce no ultraviolet emissions, unlike incandescents. Think of LEDs as the electric vehicle (EV) of bulbs, whereas incandescents are like gas-powered cars. 

Green Gadgets - LED Lights

4. Smart Plugs

Another small change you can make is adding smart plugs to your house. These green gadgets make home technology easier by bringing automation into your life. Smart plugs are a terrific alternative because they’re typically inexpensive, depending on the brand.

Smart plugs enable you to control your energy usage better. Most devices let you use your smartphone to turn your appliances on and off. This feature is convenient for when you are on the road since you no longer have to worry about whether you turned off a lamp or TV. 

You can be even more hands-off with your smart plugs by not using your phone. For example, integrating Amazon Alexa lets you use your voice to turn off appliances. Simply say, “Alexa, turn off the lamp,” as a command example. 

A smart plug’s energy savings come through its scheduling power. You can time when certain appliances turn on and off. Have you fallen asleep with the TV on? Smart plugs let you time when it turns off, reducing your power consumption. Setting timers is also helpful during the holidays if you decorate with lights.

5. Pellet Stoves

Colder climates require constant heating throughout the late fall and winter. Heaters and fireplaces can increase your utility bill and your carbon footprint. So, what can you use instead?

One option homeowners have is to use a pellet stove for their heating needs. They are becoming more popular because of their energy efficiency. EPA-certified pellet stoves have 70% to 83% efficiency, making them a great alternative to other heating methods. 

How are pellet stoves better for the environment? This appliance uses wood pellets containing a lot of energy. Typical models are small, meaning they don’t need much power to burn the wood. Wood pellets also have a low moisture content, increasing the temperature when burning. Your carbon footprint from cooking and heating is smaller with a wood pellet stove. 

Another consideration for pellet stoves is their emissions. Burning wood pellets produces less ash and discharge. Your family, neighbors and surrounding wildlife will thank you for the increased efficiency. 

Green Gadgets - Wood Pellet Stove

6. Geothermal Pumps

Efficient heating can make your life much easier. In some areas, you can use a geothermal pump and let the Earth work for you. They heat your home by carrying thermal energy from the ground, providing you with a sustainable energy source all winter. 

Unfortunately, geothermal energy is not widely available in the U.S. and worldwide. Most resources are in California, Hawaii and other western states. Geothermal power is most prominent internationally in Iceland, El Salvador and Kenya.

If you can use it, geothermal energy is an efficient way to heat your home. This power source has minimal emissions because you don’t need fossil fuels. Some sources create pollution, but their impact is far lower than oil and gas. 

Geothermal power sources are also renewable because they rely on heat from the ground. You’ll have a heated home as long as the sun burns.

7. Solar Panels

Solar panels are a safe bet if you want more accessible renewable energy. This technology has been around for a few decades. However, recent innovations have made them more affordable for the average homeowner. 

America is starting to incorporate more solar power nationwide. You’ve probably seen houses or office buildings with solar arrays on the roof. These devices harness energy from the sun to power an entire facility. 

Solar panels are more environmentally friendly than typical electrical fixtures because they don’t require fossil fuels. All you need is sunlight and photovoltaic panels to turn the lights on. 

Energy independence makes solar panels popular for survivalists who want to live off the grid. Relying on municipal utilities could put you at a disadvantage, making solar panels a practical option. 

Green Gadgets - Solar Panels

8. Low-Flow Water Fixtures

Increasing efficiency can come through many places in your home. For instance, consider your bathroom and how much water it uses. The toilet, shower and sink alone will drive your water bill up. You still need it for cooking and hygiene, so what are your options?

One excellent green alternative is swapping in low-flow fixtures. Low-flow toilets, faucets and showerheads are only three options at your disposal. These items use less water by reducing the rate at which it comes out. 

Consider how much water you use daily for showering and cooking alone. Switching to low-flow fixtures is excellent for reducing your water consumption. This green alternative is even more helpful in states with water limits during droughts.

Final Thoughts on Embracing Eco-Friendly Home Tech and Green Gadgets

It can be easy to go green with green gadgets. Swap out your outdated tech with innovative products that are good for the planet, make life easier and reduce energy bills.

These small changes produce big benefits and are well worth exploring.

References & Useful Resources

Energy.gov: Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar

Energy.gov: Lighting Choices to Save You Money

SEIA: Solar Industry Research Data

Greenmatch: All Solar Panel Grants and Schemes in the UK

Energy.gov.au: Renewable Power Incentives in Australia

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