Energy reduction and conservation are really some of the easiest ways to practice sustainable technology on a local level. While you may not be able to install a wind turbine in your urban backyard, you can do some of these things to make sure that you are effectively and efficiently using the energy which you have access to, saving more for the future generations.
Sure, we turn off lights when we leave the room and try to put on a sweater instead of turning up the heat, but how can we really know exactly how much energy our homes are consuming? Through an energy monitor such as the Kill-A-Watt. These devices count the number of watts a particular home appliance uses by plugging in between the appliance and the wall. Many of our appliances use “phantom” energy, which means that they are eating up electricity when no one is using them, such as a television, computer, stereo, etc. Some households can save up to a few hundred dollars each year just by being aware enough to unplug the energy suckers in their homes. The Kill A Watt is only one brand of energy monitoring device, and can be purchases between $25-$50 depending on chosen features. One model, at $85, is actually also a power surge protector and monitors multiple devices at one time.
Along the same lines as Kill-A-Watt, the idea here is to educate consumers on exactly how much energy they are using. The Tweet-a-Watt is actually a kit through which a homeowner can transform a regular energy monitor into a wireless power level transmitter. This will transmit information to your computer and allow you to process data and use it for informational purposes to help you save money. In addition, this data can be programmed to be published in various places, such as twitter, in order to provide accountability and community support.
A couple of different solar ovens or solar cookers on the market today use the energy from the sun to cook. There is no smoke produced, which means that there is no pollution, and there is no money spent on fuel sources such as coal or wood. The device is made of metal and glass and can do a variety of cooking styles such as baking, boiling, and steaming. Just like a home oven, a solar oven can safely reach temperatures to 400 degrees F, but it is portable at around the size of a suitcase. Because there is no flame, there is no danger of burning or fire from a solar oven.
Power Free Speaker
The Griffin AirCurve is a cellphone speaker which can be used without any electricity. Without using any energy at all, this device can amplify the sound of an iPhone up to ten decibels. It is made out of a polycarbonate plastic which is not exactly green but because it uses no electricity there is still benefit. There is also a slot which allows for the phone to recharge while it is docked on the amplifier.
Look for these and other types of gadgets for your home which will help you use less energy to maintain a sustainable earth.