When it comes to technology and eco-friendly living, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Yes, in a time when rapid technological advancement is often pitted as an enemy of environmental responsibility, the truth of the matter is that marrying the two can bring forth great results.
Looking at sustainable solutions may require an initial investment, but one will pay off when you consider the benefit to the environment. Check out these eco-friendly design ideas for your home and decide for yourself.
Solar panels on your roof top turns the sun’s rays into electricity which you can then use to power your home. How much you recoup will depend on a number of factors, but one source notes that a solar panel installation which costs $15,000 and provides an annual benefit of $3,000 means you would recoup your investment in five years. And most five kW solar photovoltaic systems can achieve ROI of 20% in year one. So it’s worth doing your homework and see if this is an option for you.
Dual Flush Toilets
While it might be hard to believe, technology has changed the way some toilets work. With dual flush toilets, there are two flush buttons on the tank. This gives you some control over whether you need only a lower amount of water or a lot of water. But what if you don’t want to go through the expense of buying a new toilet? Well, you’re in luck because there’s another way — albeit a low-tech way — to save on water use while flushing your toilet. It’s called a float booster. What a float booster does is displace water from your tank so that the tank uses much less water every time you press the flush lever. Here’s how to make one:
- Get an empty two-liter soda bottle. You may even already have one in your recycle bin.
- Fill the bottle up one-fourth of the way with sand.
- Fill the remainder of the bottle with water.
- Put the cap on the bottle and place it in the toilet tank.
What this will do is force your toilet to fill up less, and you can even save up to a gallon per flush. When you consider that toilets can potentially use seven gallons with every flush, you can appreciate how much you can save over time with a simple do-it-yourself float booster.
LED Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs were once the go-to option for consumers looking to light up their homes. Then came LED light bulbs. If you recall, an LED light bulb used to cost around $100 — yes, that’s per bulb. As you might imagine, widespread consumer adoption was minimal because, after all, who wants to spend that kind of money on a bulb? Fortunately, the the cost has come down significantly to the point where it’s possible to buy an LED bulb for around $5. You can expect LED bulbs to last between 20,000 hours and 50,000 hours, which is as many as five times longer than incandescent light bulbs. So, while they may cost a bit more than incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs are worth the extra cost because they last much longer.
So, as you can see, technology and environmental responsibility can co-exist. Try out some of the recommendations above to see just how eco-friendly home sweet home can be.