Today's technology is working wonders for convenience, but is doing a number on the already-limited amount of energy resources available to us. By doing a once-over at home with these tips and replacing some of your less environmentally-friendly gadgets, you can learn how to make your home appliances and entertainment systems run more efficiently (and lower your bills in the process). Do your part to help save Mother Earth, without sacrificing your love of technology.
Luckily, forward-thinking companies have a tattoo on and are beginning to create green gadgets to help you preserve energy from the very beginning. Slick HD flat-screen television monitors are now available with an energy-saving standby mode, while power-saving light sensors will automatically adjust screen intensity, significantly cutting down on power needs without depleting your high definition viewing pleasure.
Addicted to your iPod? Get rid of your big stereo and all of the messy, but necessary hook-up cords required to access your iTunes through the speakers, and pick up an iPod dock. The sustainable handmade Vers Mambo dock comes in eco-friendly bamboo and requires very little energy to get great sound out of its two speakers and two rear subwoofers.
Just can not give up your all-in-one phone? Fortunately, there is a new planet-friendly model available from Nokia, featuring plastic made from plants and a low-energy touch screen. Laptop users that require a mouse might want to switch over to the heat-converting DORmino mouse, that finds a practical use for the heat pumped out from the nearby laptop.
It's not just techie gadgets that are being power-proofed, either. Household appliances are getting a facelift, as well – not only do they cut down on energy use and costs, but they come in slick, smart designs to help your home look good. Slow-cookers (that's crock pot to your mother) are a smart and efficient way to prepare dinner, especially now that some come equipped with insulated lids to hold the heat in and require less effort from the energy source.
Maybe one days, chemical laundry detergents will be completely replaced by soap nuts. Popular in India but not as well-known elsewhere, the new Electrolux E-Wash is specially designed for washing with soap nuts. Since just one kilo of nuts will last a household an year, the extra cost of the high-tech machine will quickly pay off. Or, try washing with 1,000-wash eco-balls, that ionize water to help get your clothes extra clean. Watch as the grocery bills deplete, happily missing laundry detergent from the list.
Coffee, tea, and soup can be eco-friendly, too, when prepared with water boiled in an energy-efficient kettle. Set the kettle to heat the water to the precise temperature you need, using 25% less electricity that a boiling stovetop pot.
Help save the planet in the bedroom, too, with an organic latex mattress. With no metals or chemicals added, latex mattresses are also useful for allergy-prone sleepers.
And to top it all off, some green companies are packaging their funky, friendly wares in recycled cardboard boxes.