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What Makes a Gadget Green?

As the UK Government tries to cut our carbon emissions, why not think about going green round the house? Green gadgets are more energy-efficient than other products and will protect the environment as well as your bank balance – so let’s take a look at a few of the best:

Kitchen Appliances
Most kitchens are full of energy-hungry appliances which can leave you with bigger bills and an even bigger conscience. To lower your energy output, look for economical products that will reduce your outgoings and consider updating old appliances – as these tend to burn a lot more energy than modern alternatives. Appliances in the UK are rated from A to G (with A being the most-efficient) so browse the web for new equipment or hit the high-street.

Not sure where to start? Well, induction hobs are much more efficient than ordinary electric hobs as 90 per cent of the heat goes directly into the pan compared with 75 per cent for ordinary hobs and only 40 per cent for gas hobs. Refrigerators are high energy consumers, so don’t buy a bigger fridge than you need. Look for one that will suit you and your family and keep all freezer compartments full, as they’re more efficient when kept topped up. It’s also wise to look out for a washing machine that has short economy washes and which uses a very low temperature setting as this will save both water and electricity.

Radiator Reflector Panels and Heating Devices
Are you looking to save money on your heating bills and reduce your energy consumption? If so, radiator reflector panels could be just what you need. They reflect heat from the radiator back into the room and prevent warm air from escaping through an outside wall. This is particularly useful in winter, when the mercury drops and is a cost-effective way to keep your abode toasty. You can even make reflector panels yourself by covering a rectangular piece of cardboard in the insulating material you put in car windows – so why not give this a go?

Another way to save money is to invest in an automatic radiator bleeder. This automatically releases the built-up air in your radiator and will ensure they’re working as efficiently as possible. If your radiator is not regularly bled, you’ll be using a lot of energy to create a lot less heat, so it’s worth relying on such innovative devices.

Make Your Own Fizzy Drinks

By making your own fizzy drinks, you can cut down on the amount of bottles and cans that you buy. This is known as precycling and will reduce the amount of waste that your household produces on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. One of the best ways to do this is to purchase a SodaStream, as this will enable you to make your own drinks in any way you want. It will also cut the amount of soda that’s transported every day and will stop our landfill sites being filled with unnecessary rubbish. As part of SodaStream’s Cage Project, the company created cages of 6 x 6 x 12 foot which displayed over 10,000 cans and bottles. This was said to represent what an average family might drink during a five year period – and it’s astonishing to see the visual image.

Solar Clocks
There are many solar clocks on the market at the moment, which are thought to be as efficient as their battery operated peers. The only difference is; there are no batteries which might end up polluting landfill sites with toxins. Seiko’s new Emblem clock claims that once it is charged you can run it for up to two years in the dark – and it can even inform you if there’s enough light in the room for it to run efficiently – bonus!

Although we are all much more conscious about recycling these days, it’s also worth considering purchasing a compost bin. These handy gadgets enable you to mulch down kitchen food waster, vegetable peelings and other compostable items and will stop you filling up rubbish bags unnecessarily. Some even contain charcoal filters which prevent unwanted odours and your garden will certainly enjoy the benefits.

Green living is easier than you may things, so try making a few changes around the house today!

Image credits with thanks to Carbon Planet for the Ice Sculpture in Darling Harbour photo and Sodastream for the Genesis Flag Celebrate Britain Sodastream photo.

Kelly is an eco-conscious blogger and budding gardener who is enjoying the country life. Kelly likes to write about the environment, ecocrafts, smarter living and the occasional gardening feat (or disaster).