What springs to mind when you think about technology and the environment? Electric cars? Solar panels? There actually lots of ways tech can help you act on climate change which are a lot closer to home.

Whether you’re a self-confessed tech head who loves finding out about the latest gadgets or would rather keep it old school thank-you-very-much, there’s lots that tech can do for everyone to make living sustainably at home that bit easier.

Discover these tech-tastic tips for smarter living at home:

Smart power

The average UK household spends £35 a year powering appliances left on standby so switching off your appliances when not in use is a no-brainer. However, the wire bundle of spaghetti sitting under our desks or those hard-to-reach plug sockets tucked behind televisions can make this more of a hassle than usual.

A smart plug which connects to your smartphone means you can send all your tech to sleep with just one click. You can also set up routines, for example having the coffee machine come on in the morning to be oh-so-efficient.

You can also switch off smart lightbulbs from your smartphone without needing to go into the room. If you have little ones, smart lighting makes for a great night light. You won’t need to leave it on all night or worse, risk tiptoeing around.

Smart heating

Heating and hot water makes up over half of most household’s energy, despite not being on all year. There are plenty of hot hacks to change up your heating habits which won’t feel like you’re left out in the cold.

A smart thermostat learns your routine and makes savvy suggestions such as turning off the heating 15 minutes before you leave for work in the morning so you won’t notice the difference. Smart thermostat radiator valves also allow you to control individual radiators so you easily heat only where’s needed.

Smart speakers

You’ve asked your smart speaker for the weather forecast and to ‘play Fleetwood Mac’, but do you know how your smart speaker could save you energy at home, money and help you get organised?

You could set the trigger word ‘Good night’ to turn off all your lights and appliances in one go if linked to a smart plug or as you’re leaving to go out, the speaker can remind you to turn off the heating.

Smart energy

Smart meters are being rolled out across Great Britain to modernise outdated meters in homes and make the whole network run more smoothly. If you already have one, checking your in-home display is a quick way to take control of your energy use as it shows you exactly what you are spending.

Get even savvier with your household’s electricity use, by trying an energy saving assistant such as Loop. Loop clips onto your meter and then gives you suggestions for high-impact, low effort energy (and £) savings. It tells you your phantom load (how much energy is wasted from appliances on standby) so you can understand which costs the most to run.

Smart shopping

Old, less sustainable habits can strike when we’re busy. Why not try out one of many apps that can help make sustainable habits stick.

Want to meal plan like a pro? Try sharing a shopping list with your flatmates or family on apps like Todoist or setting up a dedicated Whatsapp group for shopping list reminders. BBC Goodfood has a recipe app where you can search by rogue leftover ingredients. Or take a ‘shelfie’ - a photo of your fridge shelf before you go so you don't buy what you already have.

Looking to get even smarter?

Even old tech can make a difference! Whether it works or not, check out these ways to sort out your old electronics in the most sustainable way. 

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