Happy Earth Day!
We know what most other carbon footprint listicle suggestions are; eat beans instead of meat, bike more, stop buying so many clothes, turn down your thermostat, etc. But what if you already don’t eat much or any meat, work from home, score your fashion from more sustainable second-hand stores, and are actually really cold?
Here at Vilo we came up with 5 more ways that you can easily reduce your carbon footprint and even improve your quality of life.
1. Travel via VR
We get it. Our travel bucket list is long too. But the flights and taxi rides involved in international travel are not only expensive in terms of dollars, but carbon output as well. Slim down your dream destination list to the places that you truly care about experiencing in person, and visit everywhere else via VR! Oculus has a list of 11 VR Apps that can take you all around the world on guided tours from Tokyo to Kenya. And with many countries still not allowing international travelers, VR might be the only way you can wander around Harajuku for a while.
But you can wander wherever you want in your home and stay connected to the internet with the power of Vilo Mesh Wi-Fi.
2. Shop with a Carbon Offset Browser Extension
Neutral is a new startup that calculates your carbon footprint from online purchases at retailers such as Amazon. It’s an extremely easy way to see and immediately offset your impact on the environment.
3. Get an Electric Blanket
Did you know that electric blankets are vastly more energy-efficient than space heaters or even central heating? Not only will you save on your carbon footprint, but you will also see a clear difference on your next heating bill when you switch from using a space heater to an electric blanket to keep warm this year. Plus if you have a household where people have very different temperature comfort zones, even the household members without electric blankets will be happier.
4. Switch to Tone Changing Smart Bulbs
You’re probably already saving money and carbon by using LED lightbulbs, but do you have kids who always forget to turn lights off after they leave the room? Or do you have a lot of lamps that are just a little inconvenient to walk around and turn on and then turn off manually all the time? Smart bulbs such as LIFX A19 Mini Day and Dusks paired with home assistant speakers offer a huge quality of life improvement to virtually everyone. Easily control your home lighting from anywhere, set up fun phrases for mood lighting or night lights, and set lighting schedules that fit you and your family’s lifestyle.
And with Vilo, you can easily set up a Guest Network to keep your smart devices separate for added network security.
But how does this impact your carbon footprint besides being able to turn off the lights a little easier?
And why do they need to be tone changing specifically?
Let’s go down to the next item on this list- and the most impactful change you can make to not only the environment, but your quality of life and even health.
5. Get More Sleep
The easiest way to cut your carbon footprint is to get more sleep. And it’s incredibly beneficial to you as well.
Around the world including in the US, the difference in energy use between daytime and nighttime is huge. The Japanese Ministry of Environment found that 20% of Japan’s electricity is consumed within an hour of going to bed. But staying up late doesn’t come as a cost to only the environment. There is a huge health and economic cost as well to being sleep-deprived.
Even though the vast majority of Americans report wanting to get more sleep, insomnia and sleep problems are one of the most common health concerns. Over the last few years in particular, sales of melatonin have skyrocketed.
So what does this have to do with smart lights again?
You’ve probably heard that you should block blue light at night and may even have a red nighttime screen filter on your smartphone. Our brains have a little section called the pineal gland that controls our natural melatonin production based on the environmental light around us. This is why daylight makes us feel more alert and many people have Seasonal Affective Disorder.
With tone changing smart lights that can be scheduled to automatically shift from energizing blue-tinted white light to relaxing warm evening light, you are effectively reprogramming your own circadian rhythm. They really make going to bed early so easy. And if it’s easier to go to sleep even just an hour earlier, not only will that have a massive impact on your carbon footprint, but huge health and economic benefits.
We love re-watching The Office as much as anyone, but is one more episode before bed really worth it now?
Or if it’s your kids who are staying up late, just use Vilo Parental Controls to turn off the Wi-Fi to their devices at bedtime.