We’ve already talked about the digital carbon footprint and the dangers of massive amounts of electro-waste. There was one piece of advice – don’t buy new ones, but use them as long as you can.
But what if we already have to buy something? Because the refrigerator door jams, the freezer refuses to freeze, and the washing machine won’t spin? Opt for energy efficiency. But where to look for appliances that are as energy efficient as possible?
The EU is in our favour
You don’t have to calculate the capacity of your washing machine yourself, or know about renewable energy engineering. Thanks to the Energy Labelling Directive, you get all the information you need on a silver platter.
In this way, the European Union pursues one of its objectives regarding climate and energy policy – reduction of energy consumption by 32.5% by 2030.
The labels have to be placed, among others, on: refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers, stoves, dishwashers, water heaters, light sources, air conditioning equipment and even car tires.
What is on the label?
Reading the labels is simple and intuitive. The more it is labeled with a letter closer to the beginning of the alphabet – the better, while in terms of color – the darker the green, the lower energy consumption is.
Each device group has its own range of evaluated parameters, so they should not be compared to each other. For example: energy ratings may be converted to different cycles. In addition, there is other information on the labels, specific to the group, such as operating noise, capacity or water consumption.
Sometimes, in the search for suitable equipment, specific price comparison sites or auction portals can help us. Also on the websites of stores with electronics and home appliances you can filter search results using the criterion of energy class.
First of all, while choosing a new equipment we should take under consideration our real needs. Do we really need a two-door fridge with a freezer if we live alone? Maybe it would be worth resigning from the clothes dryer in favour of hanging laundry on a clothesline?
Apart from that, it is important to use appliances with common sense. Don’t put hot food in the fridge, turn off the lamps (even LED ones) and switch off your monitors during breaks from work.
Any change is good. Even the smallest one.
In previous articles, we have already mentioned the dangers of a growing digital carbon footprint, for which data centers are largely responsible, emitting huge amounts of thermal energy.
To fully address the problem of digital carbon footprint, innovative solutions and greater awareness are necessary among executives of large companies and manufacturers, who need to change their operating style to a greener one as a priority.
However, in today’s article, we will suggest what YOU can change in your daily routine to reduce your digital carbon footprint and become a conscious user of the web.
Pay attention to your power settings
When you take a break from your computer, set it to sleep or hibernate. Also remember to turn off your printer, scanner or monitor when you are not using them. This particular action will save energy and decrease your next electricity bill.
It’s also not a bad idea to turn down the brightness of your screen. Not only will you save the energy your monitor uses, but you’ll also allow your eyes to have some rest.
Don’t stream it. Download it.
Watching movies and listening to music online has become extremely popular. This is understandable because buying a subscription to a particular service is easy, gives access to a wide selection of songs/movies, and we don’t have to worry about legal and licensing issues.
Many similar services like Spotify or Netflix allow their subscribers to download so you can enjoy the goods offered offline. Choosing this option makes a definite difference in the level of energy consumed, as you’ll pull the data from the server only once. So if you want to repeatedly listen to your favorite symphony by Joseph Haydn, you better just download it!
Find a new hobby!
Unfortunately, the truth is that most of us surf the Internet out of boredom. Limit your online activity and try to dedicate one day a week to be totally offline. You’ll reduce your digital carbon footprint and improve your mood by learning to spend time in a whole new way.
You can also look for substitutes for particular activities that you used to do exclusively online, e.g. go shopping at the mall instead of browsing hundreds of clothing sites, don’t play a movie in the background if you don’t pay attention to anyway, replace a video conference with a phone call.
There are many possibilities, adjust them to your lifestyle!
If you think you can’t make real changes to combat carbon footprint, you’re mistaken. Small steps often lead to big changes in the future. Try putting our tips into practise, and if they seem easy to you, share them with others.
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In our daily lives, electronics are all around us. It’s not just smartphones and laptops that we always keep with us, but also microwave ovens, toasters, electric kettles and much, much more. Consider how long the life cycle of such a product lasts. Sometimes, even if we take great care of our equipment, after a certain period of time it becomes outdated, loses its support or newest updates and we are forced to replace it with a newer model.
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