As Kermit the Frog often says: “It isn’t easy being green.” But with a little effort and care, there are now a multitude of gadgets in the market today to aid in environmental conservation in the home.
The basic areas of focus should include recycling, composting, water conservation, and gardening. Here’s a handful of examples that will get you started.
Re-using existing materials to create your own gadgetry isn’t as difficult as one might think. Check out your old computers and use some of those antiquated parts instead of junking them. For example, one can create an eco-friendly lighting solution by reusing old circuit boards and energy-saving light bulbs to create a desktop lap.
The 3.5 inch floppy, once a mainstay of portable data storage, can easily be re-used as a notepad, where the front and back covers are constructed from the disks (circa 1980s), recyclable paper is added as the pad, and a binder clip ties it all together.
Also consider recycling PDAs, MP3 players, and other devices so any money earned from the parts goes to worthy causes, which creates a win-win for your home and the charity. Recycleforbreastcancer.org, for example, will send you prepaid shipping labels, recycle your gadgets, and donate the proceeds to breast cancer charities.
One handy tip for easy composting is to purge your home of plastic bowls and throw all your food scraps into a stainless steel indoor compositor. Compost like a champ by eliminating your vegetable waste, instead of allowing it to be trucked off to the landfill.
Soak finished compost in water to “brew” compost “tea,” a nutrient liquid that can be used for foliar feeding or for watering plants in your garden, back yard, or houseplants.
EnergyStar programs sponsored by the EPA have identified high-performance, water-efficient appliances, fixtures, water systems, and accessories that can reduce your water use in the home and conserve the nation’s water resources.
The WaterSense label, another EPA-sponsored campaign, alerts consumers that products and programs that carry the label meet water efficiency and performance criteria, and will help save water, money, and energy.
While a rain barrel might seem like an “old school” gadget, it is one of the best inexpensive methods to capture mineral and chlorine-free H2O for watering your gardens and lawns. By harnessing a literal gift from the sky, you’ll not only notice a significant dip in water costs, but also a reduction in stormwater runoff, which in turn helps prevent erosion and flooding.
There are dozens more gadgets for each of the topics mentioned here. Avalon Construction Corp lists some additional options in the blog post titled “Modifications To Make Your Home Green.” Some common-sense tips include “buying only energy efficient appliances,” “purchasing those that don’t take a lot of power to run,” and “using only energy-efficient lighting.”
Matthew Talbot at Avalon says, “When you sit down to make a conservation plan, try to find out where most energy is being used or wasted in your home. Tackle these areas first, figuring out how to optimize your power consumption.”