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7 Ways Sustainable Technology Can Help You Live Better

Eco-Friendly Tech

Last Updated on October 26, 2023

Technology is changing the world as we know it, and sustainable technology is making it even better!

Sustainable tech companies are springing up everywhere to save energy, resources, and improve your quality of life. These tools bring eco friendly technology into your home for energy efficiency, money savings, and a clear conscious. With these sustainable gadgets, you don’t have to sacrifice being tech-forward in the name of going zero waste!

Sustainable tech - a Nest thermostat on a wall with overlay text reading "7 tech gadgets to help you live more sustainable"

sustainable technology

I have written about tech a few times on the blog, but TBH — I’m more of an analog girl.

I like my dumb watch, my grandma pedometer, and my physical planner. You will have to FIGHT ME to switch over to a digital calendar. I don’t trust them.

The only thing I trust is me and my fountain pen.

Speaking of planners and fountain pens, be sure to check out my guide to eco-friendly office supplies!

At the same time, I do love getting to stream TV shows and music, plus dimming/changing the colors of my LED lights.

I think tech is amazing, although it can be a bit problematic from an environmental point of view.

Hellooo, super energy-sucking servers…. You can learn more in my blog post, How Eco-Friendly is Technology.

Tech is awesome, and it certainly isn’t going away.

Instead, it’s about finding ways to make it a more eco-friendly technology like sinking servers in the ocean and using tech to help us live our BEST eco-friendly lifestyles.

I have rounded up several sustainable gadgets that can help you slash your carbon footprint!

Making your home eco-friendly/energy efficient is a great way to have a positive impact on the environment.

When we think big picture stuff, beyond just our own personal shopping habits, it’s time to look at your commute, your home, and what’s going on with your money in the bank.

eco friendly technology

1. temperature regulation

There’s no need to waste energy heating up and cooling down your home if you’re not even going to be there.

When it’s warm, wear a tank top and open the window. When it’s cold, throw on a blanket.

There’s no need to hit the thermostat for every small fluctuation in temperature.

For the Winter: 65° F when not home and 68° F when home
For the Summer: 80° F when not home and 77° F when home

Programmable thermostats like Nest are all the rage these days and for good reason.

Nest knows when you’re home and when you’re not.

It learns your habits, knows the weather, and will help maintain a schedule to keep you comfy, save on those energy bills, and give the environment a big high five.

check out Nest a learning thermostat

A Nest thermostate on a wall - an approachable eco friendly technology

2. phantom electricity

Phantom electricity is scary. “Nationally, phantom power accounts for more than 100 billion kWh and more than $10 billion in energy costs each year.” (source)

This is the energy that’s being sucked from devices plugged in but not in use. So if your laptop charger, phone charger, kitchen aid mixer, or curling iron are plugged into the socket but not in use, they’re still sucking power from the grid.

Of course, some things need to stay plugged in — like your fridge — but most things should be unplugged.

However, if you’ve got a plug that’s hard to reach or it’s just a pain to plug and unplug (like a desktop computer or toaster oven), why not try a smart power strip? This sustainable tech will save you money and minimize your grid draw.

A smart power strip hooks up to your phone so you can kill phantom electricity from afar.

With the device, you can check the total power consumption of each device by day, month, and year to see which appliances are drawing the most amount of phantom power. Then, turn them off or put them on a timer with one simple click.

check out a smart power strip

a light switch to illustrate a smart power strip turning off phantom electricity. An affordable sustainable technology

3. analyze your power

Are you ready to live your most streamlined, energy-efficient life? Good, because I’ve got some tech for that.

The WeMo Insight adapter works similarly to the smart power strip. Its main function is to analyze and track devices’ energy usage.

This will be really helpful for figuring out which appliances or gadgets are draining your energy and bank account.

For instance, if you have a fridge from the 70s, you might be spending an extra $70 on electricity alone! That’s not good for your wallet or for the environment.

RELATED: Save Money and Energy | Apartment Edition

Are you ready for the big leagues? Forget single plug analysis, why not analyze your home’s whole grid? With Sense Energy Monitor, you can do that.

Sense is on the pricier side, and it needs to be installed by an electrician, but it will help you monitor everything in real time.

The best part, at least for me, is knowing that I didn’t actually leave the stove on…. my greatest fear and largest source of anxiety when I leave the home.

Have I had to come home from events and work because of an overwhelming fear of I LEFT MY STOVE ON? Yes, yes I have… on more than one occasion.

This sustainable tech changed all of that. With Sense, I can check an app on my phone and know that everything is OK.

Your home might not be the only place you want to streamline for efficiency — what about your car? With Automatic Car Assistant, you plug it into your On Board Diagnostics (OBD) port.

It can help track when things go wrong in the car like, “Why is my check engine light on?” And it will help you improve your driving habits through a series of beeps and app alerts.

When you’re using too much gas, accelerating too quickly, or slamming on the brakes, Automatic will let you know.

This will extend the life of your vehicle — YAY for less wear and tear! It will also cut down on emissions — YAY the environment! Plus, it will save you money — what’s not to love?

A lightbulb with overlay text reading "7 ways tech can help you live more sustainably" in a post talking about sustainable gadgets

4. sustainable tech powered by the sun

Why suck energy from the grid at all? Why not go solar? You may not be able to install solar panels right now, but that doesn’t mean your devices couldn’t use a little sunbathing.

Check out this portable solar panel that can charge your phone and tablet.

It’s great for hiking, outdoor adventures, or just enjoying a nice rooftop lunch during the workday.

RELATED: How to Pack a Zero Waste Lunch

As someone who’s on the go and has to use my phone at a lot of events and conferences, this is a nice alternative to traditional battery packs — just make sure that the solar panels are fully charged when using!

If your phone has more energy than your panels, your panels will suck the energy out of your phone… not what you want!

check out the portable solar panel

a solar panel field from sustainable tech companies.

5. light it up

Talkin’ all about those light bulbs baby! I’m a big fan of LED light bulbs. Not only are they much better for the environment — hello, energy saving — they’re also great for your wallet. Swapping out your lightbulbs is one of the easiest and most overlooked ways to incorporate sustainable technology into your home.

Just take a look at this chart from USA Today. You can clearly see how much LED bulbs will save you.

Now, the number one complaint I hear is, “I don’t like the bright, bluish light these bulbs cast!” And, I feel that. I don’t like bright, bluish light either.

Chart showing dollar savings/cost comparing LED lights, a sustainable technology, to other types of lightbulbs

So, I got the Phillips Hue Bulbs with a range of over 16 million colors. I can control these bulbs with an app, put them on timers, dim them, and feel like a god.

Mostly because I say, “Hey Google, LET THERE BE LIGHT!”

Feel like you don’t want to make investments in eco-friendly, energy saving tech because you’re renting? Well, fear no more.

I’m a fellow renter, and I actually replace all of my light bulbs when I come into a rental, then swap them all out when I leave. I do this for my shower head too!

You can read more about how I make my rental more eco-friendly.

check out my FAV LED light bulbs

Close up of a hand holding an LED lightbulb, an eco friendly technology

6. listen responsibly:

I know that I’m 1,000 years late to the audiobook game, but OMG I love audiobooks.

I still haven’t gotten into the podcast scene too much — if you have favorites, let me know in the comments down below.

Instead of streaming music when I go on a jog or a nice long walk with the pup (cute dog photos and tips for raising an eco-friendly pet), I’m crushing some audiobooks.

I’m in the market for some new headphones.

I’m currently using the iphone earbuds that came with my iPhone 4 purchase in 2010. Someone actually complimented me on how well I took care of my old earbuds…. #10yrs #together4eva

But, I’m in the market for some new headphones. Some nice cushy ones perfect for 5-10 mile treks.

I have a House of Marley speaker and I’m a huge fan of the company.

They are one of the few sustainable tech companies that are really working to make their electronics ethical and sustainable.

They use mindfully sourced materials including bamboo, FSC™ certified wood, recycled aluminum, plastic, and fabrics.

please listen responsibly:

An ethical turntable - an eco friendly technology

7. sustainable gadgets and accessories:

When it comes to our phones, laptops, and tablets, I’m a big believer in cases!

I know some people prefer to go the risky naked route, but I will drop my phone… it’s inevitable.

Part of sustainable technology is longevity. And, I’d prefer for my $1,000 investment to last AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.

(Remember the earbuds from 10 years ago?)

I’m not zero waste because I love the environment (though, I do love the environment) — I’m zero waste because I’m cheap frugal.

When it comes to protecting your phone, my number one recommendation is a Pela Case.

I’ve been a proud Pela Case owner for a long time.

The case is COMPOSTABLE! How cool is that?

It’s made with flax shive (a waste by-product of the flax industry), and it’s super shock absorbent — which is a must for me because I drop my phone all of the time…

One of my favorite thing about Pela is that they take full ownership over the lifespan of their product.

If you can’t compost it for any reason, you can send it back and they’ll take care of it for you.

Plus, with each purchase, they donate to environmental organizations.

check out pela case <—————- Get 20% off with the code ‘GZW20’

Sustainable tech - eco friendly phone cases from Pela


what are some sustainable tech companies i can support?

Even big companies are starting to recognize the benefits of producing eco friendly technology. Apple, Dell, and Microsoft — some of the biggest tech companies out there — are working toward carbon neutrality. And Samsung recycles 95% of its manufacturing waste, in addition to making efforts to reduce its energy consumption.

If you’re looking to invest in some of these sustainable gadgets, purchasing from one of these companies can sweeten the pot!

what does sustainable technology mean?

Tech is one of those industries that can easily be greenwashed if you don’t know what you’re looking for. The idea of sustainable tech combines two ideals: a technology that’s meant to improve, offset, or even completely remedy environmental setbacks; or a tech that’s produced using eco friendly or sustainable materials and processes.

When in doubt of whether or not a tech you’re buying is truly eco friendly, verify that it is carrying out at least 1 of these ideals.

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  1. Great suggestions! I love being old school when it comes to writing down stuff. However, I couldn’t bear the thought of paper waste so I switched to reusable notebooks. It’s amazing how technology can offer eco-friendly alternatives. Since you’re an analog girl, you can give it a try too!