Being eco-friendly is no longer something that will happen in the future. There are numerous green tech items that have been released recently that are designed with the true namesake of technology in mind: making life better for both humans and the planet. And what better time? As we all know, the “Smart Home” is fast approaching, along with self-driving cars and other forms of clean, economical automation.
All of the following items will work to keep your water, energy or electricity bills down, saving you money and allowing you to reduce your carbon footprint. They’re also aesthetically pleasing, promote minimalism and smart systems control, and have small learning curves with long term payoffs. The future is indeed seeming quite ‘green’.
Using 70% less water than a typical shower head, Nebia touts their one-of-a-kind design as a shower experience unlike any you’ve had before, and one that ‘practically rains money’. At $299, the shower fixture is said to pay for itself in less than a year. It also features an aeronautical design that “atomizes water into millions of droplets to create 10 times more surface area than a regular shower”, has an array of nozzles to produce a superior water temperature and pressure, but remains “as easy to install as a lightbulb.”
Nearly 5 years in the making, the small team behind its creation went live with a Kickstarter Campaign in 2015, and since then has been featured in some of the largest publications in the world, and has had dozens of prototypes tested at places no less prominent than Google and Apple. But don’t hit up Amazon for this high-flying feature from the future. As of 2017, it’s only available for pre-shipping through the Company’s own website.
2) The Nest Learning Thermostat
The 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat ($250) learns your daily routine and adjusts the temperature to your needs. Using sensors, the Google-owned Nest detects when no one is at home to adjust the temperature to an energy-efficient level. It also remembers your energy habits throughout the day, and connects to your Wi-Fi to let you remotely control your household’s temperature through your smartphone, tablet, or computer. The Nest saves energy, helps the environment, and lowers your cooling and heating bill.
3) The Neurio Sensor
The Neurio sensor, which pops into your electrical panel, is designed to tell you exactly what appliances and devices are taking up the most energy, so that you can control them or put them on standby. It uses real-time monitoring to send info to your smartphone, tablet or computer and, once you get the system down, can apparently reduce your energy consumption (and thus your bills!) by up to 40%. Now that’s green tech.
Of all the green tech items featured on this page, it’s the RoboMower alone that deals with the most actual green. 😉 Designed to mow your lawn on its own, the RoboMower, priced at around $1500, may seem expensive at first, but if you take into account the gas and man-power hours it will save you (it’s oil-free and runs on a lithium ion battery, plugging into a regular 240V outlet), it truly is a long-term economical choice.
The little guy is specially designed to prevent clumping, and has a sensing system that is truly smart — once it knows the layout of your lawn, it can do its job flawlessly. It’s also whisper quiet, returning to its base charger when the job is done or the battery is low (typical battery life is around 50min) to recharge before setting out again. Though you shouldn’t need it, a remote is available as an accessory, and you can use your tablet or phone to communicate with it through Bluetooth as well.
5) Photovoltaic Venetian Blinds
What’s truly great about these photovoltaic venetian blinds is that they’re a green tech item that you can hook more green tech items up to as the market grows, in a truly symbiotic fashion reflective of what’s to come for the clean energy industry.
PVVBs function in the same way as traditional Venetian blinds, both blocking and filtering sunlight, but with one added benefit: they harvest and store the power of it so that your cell phones can be charged and your lights can be operated, among other things. One company even estimates that blinds such as these, in combination with other photovoltaic items, could generate as much as 2kW of electricity, enough to operate most of the electrical appliances in your home. And because PV is a renewable energy source, it should be eligible for a state and federal tax credit as well.
Put away your pocketbooks, however. At the time of this writing, there are no commercially available PVVB’s on the market. While there are a number patents held and pending, it is unclear if there are any companies nearing market with this innovative technology of the future.