Earth Hour: planet-saving tips and tricks

These environmentally-conscious gadgets will have an effect for more than just an hour

Species are dying out, temperature levels are rising and falling drastically, the world’s a very different place from what it was years ago.

And who’s to blame? Us probably. But the good news is that you, yes you, have the power to do something about it. And it’s as simple as heeding our advice below.

Image: Earth Hour

It’s getting hot in here

We’re cursed - some say blessed - with an eternal summer so the environment has to deal with our need for air-conditioned everything, which we sometimes forget to switch off. Enter the US$249 (S$315) Nest, a self-teaching thermostat that will learn your habits and adjust itself accordingly. If you don’t trust machines, you can also control temperatures remotely from your smartphone.

Otherwise: Turning your air-conditioning up by one degree helps you shave S$25 off your power bill. Multiply that by more than one degree and you get substantial savings. 

The power is yours

So says Captain Planet who’d really approve of this article. He’s right, it is, and so is its accompanying bill. The Belkin WeMo Insight Switch (US$60 (S$76)) allows users to monitor power usage via app for any device connected to it. Choose to check on laundry cycles, turn off the TV, or check to see if you've forgotten to turn off the air-con before doing so.

Otherwise: Just turn your electronics off at the wall, even when not in use, and you’ll be surprised by how much energy you can conserve with that simple step.

More after the break...

LED the way

The WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set (US$130 (S$165)) works in the same way, except that it’s designed just for lights. Dim them, switch them off, flicker them to scare whoever’s in the house - that all can be done remotely. The Smart LED Bulbs included in the set consume only 10 watts of energy and produce very little heat, so you won’t have to turn down the air-conditioning to compensate for the heat. Win-win.

Otherwise: Switch to LED lights and save up to half on your monthly energy consumption. Also, these durable bulbs are mercury-free and won’t emit any harmful substances.

Water you waiting for?

We know how good baths feel, but let’s not wait until there’s no more clean water on this planet to lament its loss. Switch your existing shower head to more thoughtful ones like the Grohe Rainshower Eco. It comes with an Eco button which reduces the water used for your shower up to 40%, and its unique spray plate imitates the human form from above for full body enjoyment without wasting a single drop.

Otherwise: Simply take shorter showers. You can save 9 litres of water per minute of showertime you don’t use. Who wants to emerge a wrinkled prune anyway?

Solar so good

Renewable energy is all the rage. And being in the tropics has its advantages - solar power. The Amp Solar Charger (US$99 (S$125)) is a portable slice of environmentally-friendly energy that can power tablets, phones, and cameras. Just make sure to leave it in direct sunlight for 5 hours to get it to fully juice up a typical phone, if not, 9 hours to power it up completely. 

Otherwise: Cut down on energy consumption. Instead of having the lights on, you could always have dinner by candlelight. Creative and gives you the added benefit of chalking up brownie points with the other half.

Image: Shft

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