Technology makes our lives easier, and it also makes the planet a better place to live. Solar-powered lanterns, smart water sensors and smart thermostats are just a few ways to be eco-friendly.
Earth Day is celebrated around the world on April 22. It's a day to stop and think about what we're doing that harms our planet, and what we can do better.
With that in mind, TechRepublic has come up with interesting tech products that will make it a little easier to be green and eco-friendly.
SEE: IT Data Center Green Energy Policy (Tech Pro Research)
One of our favorite eco-aware companies, BioLite, has a range of cool items that are smart to use. A favorite around the world is the HomeStove, which is used across India and east Africa and is now in limited production worldwide for Earth Day. It uses 50% less wood than a traditional open fire and it provides external electricity to power a USB flexlight to illuminate the cooktop.
BioLite also makes an array of lights and lanterns, many that are solar powered and some that offer USB charging for mobile devices. Check out the portable SunLight that charges via the sun in seven hours and provides up to 50 hours of light. And there's also the BaseLantern XL that includes a power hub for charging devices. It's not solar-powered, but it has a 12,000 mAh rechargeable li-on battery and provides a lot of off-grid energy. If you use it with a low energy Bluetooth app, it unlocks features such as sleep timers, proximity activation and real-time battery feedback.
SEE: Photos: 22 eco-friendly tech products to celebrate Earth Day (TechRepublic)
HELIO by Y Studios is a solar-powered battery pack that doubles as an outdoor light source: it's an all-in-one solar lantern, flashlight and power bank. And it looks pretty unique, too.
Energizer also offers rechargeable options, such as its PowerKeep 36 10,000 mAh power bank with a USB cable and a solar power system. Another option is the PowerKeep Pro backpack with integrated solar technology.
If you're trying to save a few trees, check out Sony's Digital Paper. It's the perfect solution for anyone who takes copious notes for research or classwork.
And for those reducing water usage, there is the Phyn Plus that alerts homeowners or apartment dwellers when there is a leak. The Lotik smart water sensor also targets reducing water waste from unknown leaks. One in five NYC apartments has a leaky toilet, according to PENSA.
SEE: Green tech initiatives: Best practices and breakthroughs (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
The Skydrop smart irrigation system from Amigo Energy controls your sprinklers with an app and allows easy control when your yard simply doesn't need more water.
The Ecobee smart thermostat from Amigo Energy connects to the Home IQ web portal to review energy usage and help reduce costs.
Whatever you choose, finding a way to reduce energy usage and doing something kind for the planet is easier when you use the latest technology.