Greener Every Day: Improvements to Household Products

Improvements are being made all the time to make nearly every part of our daily lives more environmentally friendly. Everything from the light bulb to the boiler feed pump has been made over to reduce its carbon footprint. Some of these daily household items that have been modified to be “greener” might surprise you:

 

Batteries

Household items are getting greener every day!

Image provided by Flickr creative commons user AlphaTangoBravo/Adam Baker

Do you remember when pretty much everything portable in your house got its power from batteries? You’d practically break the bank every month stocking up on expensive AAs, AAAs, 9-volts, Cs, Ds, and others. Over time, rechargeable batteries started to take over. They were more expensive but they lasted longer and you could simply charge them over and over again. Now, it’s rare to have a device that requires battery power to operate. Instead, the devices have rechargeable lithium cells placed within them. You plug the device into the wall and A/C power recharges the cells and makes the device operational again. This has reduced the number of batteries being tossed out (and recycled) by an astronomical amount.

Lighting

Once upon a time the only methods you had for illuminating your house were incandescent bulbs, fluorescents or fire-based methods (candles, lanterns, etc). Now there are CFL bulbs which last longer and require less energy than their incandescent counterparts. In the last year or so, even CFLs are being phased out in favor or LED lights. LED lights can be installed in any lighting fixture to replace incandescent, CFL and even fluorescent bulbs. LED lights last years longer than CFLs and require a fraction of the power to produce just as much light, meaning far fewer bulbs being tossed in the trash or leeching mercury into landfills.

Hot Water

The hot water tank is the bane of many a home owner’s existence. They malfunction, they leak and they’re susceptible to breaking down – right in the middle of your shower. After a break-down they must be gotten rid of and replaced, which is expensive and time consuming. This is why more and more homeowners are choosing to bypass the need for a tank altogether and are installing tankless water heaters. The tankless heater warms up the water as it passes through the device (instead of storing it and keeping it hot, like a tank based heater would). In addition to drastically reducing your energy costs, this compact device frees up space within your home. Plus, because it heats the water as you use it, you never have to worry about running out of hot water!

Appliances

Household appliances like the refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer are big-time culprits when it comes to energy use. However, finding greener home appliances has become much easier with the EPA’s Energy Star program. The EPA endorses good quality, energy efficient products with its eye-catching Energy Star label to guide the consumer in making conscientious choices that will ultimately save them money and reduce their carbon footprint.

 

There are so many “green” advancements being made every day that it’s hard to keep track of them all. From the way we power our homes to the way we power airplanes, trains and even freight liners; everything is becoming more environmentally friendly every day. This is good news! It means that it’s easier to make earth-friendly choices so that you can live without feeling guilty!

 

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