The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, to focus attention on environmental conservation and protection initiatives around the globe. In the ensuing decades since this initial event, earthlings have used this day to pitch in with community projects and more to preserve the ecology of our home planet. While Earth Day cleanup initiatives are somewhat complicated in our current times of social distancing due to the coronavirus, there are plenty of other ways to make a lasting impact.
The annual event is an exceptionally pertinent time to take a look at daily habits, pinpoint waste, and change up our daily routines. To assist, there are numerous products on the market designed to reduce energy consumption and minimize environmental impact. The idea of decreasing one’s carbon footprint by purchasing a new item may sound counterintuitive, but over the lifetime of these products, these eco-minded gadgets could do exactly that.
SEE: Earth Day 2020 (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Below, we’ve curated a roundup of some of the best Earth Day gadgets to throw some green at in preparation for Earth Day 2020.
Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel $73
In recent years, the cost of solar panels has dropped substantially. As a result, there are numerous products packed with solar panels to give our devices a little extra juice on the go. A versatile solar panel like the Nomad 7 from Goal Zero is ideal for catching some rays in a host of environments. With a series of straps along the outer edge, this versatile solar panel easily attaches to a backpack or tent during day trips and weekend outings.
Philips Hue Smart Motion Sensor $40
A smart home sensor to control indoor lighting is another easy way to reduce your carbon footprint and the Philips Hue Smart Motion Sensor is one of the more popular models on the market. When the device senses motion it triggers the lights in a given space, reducing the need to hit the switch when entering a room. Similarly, the device automatically switches off the lights when motion is no longer detected for a fail-proof home energy-saving plan. Philips offers an array of compatible lighting options for additional smart home integration.
Square D Wiser Energy Smart Smart Home Utility Monitor $239
Reducing unnecessary home energy consumption is one of the more impactful and immediate ways homeowners can reduce their carbon footprint and save a little green on energy bills at the same time. The Square D Wiser home energy system is designed to do exactly that. The system attaches to the main electrical panel to monitor energy consumption throughout the day. Once the system is set up, it’s easy to pinpoint inefficiencies and even more aptly estimate monthly utility costs. The system also includes access to the Sense app allowing individuals to access power usage data at any time.
ChargePoint Home WiFi Enabled Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger $699
Electric vehicles have seen a boom in popularity over the last decade. (Let’s not forget there is an electric vehicle now in orbit in our solar system.) In recent years an increasing number of manufacturers have entered the market increasing competition. While more cities have heavily integrated EV charging stations throughout their existing infrastructures, a power source at the home is key. However, not all of these recharging stations are engineered equally. For example, it’s been estimated that this ChargePoint model offers charge times approximately six times faster compared to a typical wall outlet. For those so inclined, the Home Flex model offers even more impressive comparative recharging speeds.
Segway Ninebot MAX Electric Kick Scooter $770
In the last few years, we’ve witnessed an increased demand in rideables, and for good reason. These electric options are a solid way to reduce your carbon emissions and minimize traffic bottlenecks during rush hour. Rideshare programs such as Bird and Lime are tremendously popular options, however, as frequent users know all-too-well, these individual rides can add up quickly. Going all-in on an electric scooter is a smart way for day-to-day scooter commuters to cut out the middleman and streamline their daily ride. This Segway model boasts top of the line per charge mileage to chauffeur you to and from the office and more.
Vitamix FoodCycler Indoor Food Recycler and Kitchen Compost $350
Composting is a great way to transform food scraps and food waste into a high-quality fertilizer rich in nutrients for the home garden or lawn. The FoodCycler breaks down compost in a matter of hours. One of the biggest gripes with traditional composters is the offputting smell emitted as food material slowly breaks down. To help, the FoodCycler includes a filtration system to reduce these unpleasant odors. As for design, this model is also exceptionally compact allowing you to position the FoodCycler on a countertop or under the sink without taking up too much space.
Philips 2-Pack Smart Bulb Starter Kit $127
Smart bulbs are an increasingly popular option for anyone looking to minimize energy costs. The Hue app enables tremendous control over your lighting environment with the press of a digital button in the paired app. Once the unit is paired with a Google Nest or Amazon Echo, it’s possible to control the lighting in a particular room with your voice.
Conserve Socket $10
Unfortunately, electronic devices draw energy while they are plugged in even if they are no longer in use. To reduce this drag on efficiency and boost energy consumption, the Belkin Conserve Socket touts a timer on the side. This setting allows users to select either a 30 minute, 3 hour, or a 6-hour timer. Once the timer is depleted, the socket cuts all power to the connected device.
Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 $850
Epson changed the game when it released the cartridge-free series of environmentally-friendly printers. Instead of relying on individual cartridges for printing tasks, this lineup utilizes massive built-in tanks to store ink. Individuals can simply replenish the tank as needed rather than wastefully tossing cartridges with each refill. This clever approach to printing streamlines the process and greatly reduces the number of cartridges destined for the landfill. As an added benefit, it’s been estimated that consumers can save approximately 80 percent by using ink bottles rather than transitional cartridges.