Historians who look back at the beginning of the 21st century may very well label this era the Age of the Gadgets. It seems we have a gadget for everything. There’s a gadget to remind us to feed the dog and one to track our calorie usage in real time. All these gadgets come at a price. They cost money of course, but more than that, they cost energy. How do we keep up with all the latest electronic gizmos without breaking our wallets or leaving a giant-sized carbon footprint? There’s a gadget for that!
1. TED: The Energy Detective
TED doesn’t cut down on your energy usage or increase the efficiency of your appliances. What this gadget does is far simpler than that. TED monitors and displays an apartment renter’s energy usage in real time. People who are aware of their energy usage can drastically reduce their energy bills simply by paying more attention to their energy habits. The data that TED collects can be viewed from the display or on a computer or smart phone. People who monitor their energy usage tend to reduce energy consumption by around 20%. The best thing about this kind of device is that it doesn’t require any changes to a person’s lifestyle; just knowing that TED is watching is enough to change behavior for the better.
2. The Energy Egg
Using a gadget such as the energy egg is a great way to save energy. These devices can be hooked up to all the electronics in a room and can switch them all off at once. A motion detector on the device can monitor the room for activity and a timer can shut off everything in the room when it is not in use. This way, if a person steps outside to take a phone call that turns out to take longer than anticipated, the television, stereo system and all the lights won’t remain on until that person comes back to shut them off. These devices can also be set to control only certain things so that devices that need to be left on, such as telephones, don’t get accidentally switched off.
3. Battery Chargers
Though this isn’t a new gadget, it’s still a good one to have around. Many items are now wireless which means they require batteries instead of plugs. Buying new batteries each time they run down in a device can be expensive and harmful to the environment, especially since most people do not dispose of their batteries properly. Recharging used batteries is a great way to save money, though people should keep in mind that the apartment energy usage will be a little higher in order to charge up all those batteries.
4. A Better Adapter
Leaving electronics plugged into a wall socket to recharge can use more energy than most people realize. A plugged-in phone with a full battery continues to use energy until it is disconnected from the wall socket. Buying a device that automatically senses when a product has reached full battery and then cuts off the electricity is a great way to save energy and money.
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