Our need to look after and protect the planet has never been more clear.
Extreme weather events routinely put lives at risk, be it devastating droughts, flash floods or incontrollable and increasingly unseasonable fires.
According to the UN, more than a third of all the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are generated by the energy supply sector as our lives are increasingly reliant on electronic devices – be it at home, in the workplace or in the supply chains that underpin societies.
If you’re looking to shrink your household’s carbon footprint, here are three projects that are perfect for tech-lovers that want to help the planet.
Install a shower timer
Heating water for household tasks, be it bathing, washing clothes and dishes or anything else – is a costly process.
Heating water through a common boiler means electricity and gas usage, so it can soon add up if you’re not careful.
A time you have greater control over this is while showering. It can be tempting to coop up under the warm jet – especially on those cold winter mornings! But it might be hitting you in the pocket and contributing to the climate crisis as well.
Using an Arduino microcomputer, it’s possible to install a timer that starts when your shower is operated and sounds an alarm at the desired time. Five minutes should be enough!
Build a solar phone charger
Modern mobiles are so much more than portable telephones. They allow us to shop, bank, watch TV and even find a future spouse!
Despite advances in battery performance, we still tend to charge our mobile phones daily – especially if they are in regular use. This can result in a lot of energy being consumed, especially with the temptation to leave a charger plugged in at all times for maximum convenience.
With a few components and a little knowhow, however, you can do away with the plugs and make a phone charger that runs purely on the sun’s rays!
Build your own smart thermostat
Smart thermostats are becoming one of the must-have bits of trendy tech for homeowners. With fancy digital dials, mobile app connectivity and other smart features, not only do they give you a chance to do more to control your heating than set it to a timer, but they also look pretty nifty stuck on the wall too.
Well, what could add an extra layer of cool on that? If you made it yourself, of course!
This is certainly a more advanced project but controlling your thermostat while on the move gives you more control over your budget and your emissions. Running late while out somewhere? You can set your heating to delay coming on until you’re back.