Sustainable living is a crucial part to solving the global warming puzzle. It’s not only the technological advancements that’s given power to citizens that’s important, but the trend itself. Sustainability has become a lot more accepted over the past decade, with the rise of minimalism and eco-homes becoming fashionable.

Van life has now become commonplace with the middle-class who have given up their jobs in order for a more modest lifestyle — but one without the stresses of 9-to-5 work. It’s also common to see families move from large houses in the suburbs to building tiny homes in rural areas, where land is cheaper and mortgages vanish.

These of course make up the large selection of Youtube videos and documentaries, but the reality is a little more subtle. There are many ways in which homeowners are modifying their houses into being more sustainable, yet without the radical lifestyle changes.

Eco developments in homes

A big movement towards green energy has been in using solar. Given that we have now figured out how to run cars on electric too, many are hooking up their solar homes to their electric vehicles. EV charger installation is relatively straightforward, and doesn’t actually require solar at all. Learning how to install an EV charger is one of many electrical jobs that can lower your carbon footprint.

Solar development is becoming more efficient, though it’s difficult to make the investment knowing in 5 years, the technology will yield better returns. Elon Musk is one of a few engineers who are trying to integrate solar into roof tiles to maximize their visual appeal.

An even more elaborate way to save every is to turn food waste into energy. Reducing food waste via meal kits companies and meal prepping is a great idea, but it is now possible to use anaerobic digestion facilities to use microorganisms to break down food waste. As the food waste breaks down, it gives off methane gas, which can be collected and converted to create electricity.

Sustainable IoT solutions

Minimizing the energy used in a home is also important, and simple software can help us do just that. Programmable thermostats are crucial to turning off heat when it’s not needed, although this can be taken a step further. Thermostats with Machine Learning capabilities can understand the patterns of energy use in a home, and then automatically control the house heating. This can often be more accurate in knowing your patterns than you are, thus minimizing waste.

DIY IoT solutions are popular for this reason. A simple Raspberry Pi and a motor can be a new switch for the washer machine, where you can turn it on or off via a mobile phone app. Smart home ecosystems share a similar benefit, where lighting, switches, heating and many other electronics can be controlled via voice command or mobile app.

Hopefully, such developments continue to be on-trend. It’s difficult for everyone to get on-board with sustainability practices, but if it’s cost-effective and improves living standards, then this is a battle we may win.