4 Energy Apps To Help You Go Green and Spend Less Green

Energy apps to go green and save more green

Saving energy and saving money are hot topics in today’s economic climate. Isn’t it amazing if you can control both from the palm of your hand?

You might not realize it, but having a smartphone is good for more than making calls, checking emails, and playing games. You can use it to track energy efficiency and save on electricity bills using innovative mobile apps. Renewable energy apps can be of great help for how to save energy and money in your home.

Technology can help you live a more sustainable life. Here is a list of energy apps that will help you adopt green living and a more mindful lifestyle.

 Energy Consumption Analyzer

This app works as a mobile database of your home energy use. It’s easy to lose track of your energy consumption until you get an unpleasant bill. Energy consumption analyzer provides accurate readings of your daily energy consumption. You can add your meters for electricity, gas, or water to the database and keep track of current meter readings.

The energy consumption analyzer lets you color-code readings and add comments to them for better understanding. The application asks you to input data from your meter and calculates the average consumption rate. It then displays a bar graph or table of the total amount of actually used energy during a day, week, or month to help you gain insights and view trends.

Energy Cost Calculator

While trying to cut down your energy consumption, it’s necessary to know how much energy you are using. Through the Energy Cost Calculator, you can calculate energy usage and operating cost of electrical equipment you use. It helps you analyze which appliances in your home use the most energy. 

This application lets you know how much an appliance costs to run over a period and allows you to control it. You can calculate the running cost of an appliance by entering the wattage and how often you use it. The results are not 100% accurate, as it does not have access to your tariff information, but it gives you an idea.

Energy Tracker

Energy tracker can evaluate and manage meter reading according to your electricity, gas, heat, and water consumption. It automatically detects meter readings and dates to provide a graphical analysis of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly consumption.

Energy tracker knows where you can save money by creating a report. It makes an estimate by comparing daily and monthly trends throughout the year. All data is saved to the application and will provide you with exclusive CSV reports on your energy consumption at home.

Smappee

Smappee manages your energy flows in a way that you can work, relax, and live without compromising on comfort. It gives you a clear insight into your energy consumption, and you can leave your home without any worries. Let the app control and automate your energy flows.

It provides you real-time readings for electricity, gas, water, and solar consumption. You can automate your appliances and let the application control their energy flows to optimize consumption. It also allows you to control energy use remotely using smart devices and plugs.

5 Awesome Reasons to Buy Used Children’s Clothing

Buy Used Children's Clothing

Growing children constantly need new clothes. Every growth spurt turns pants into waders and shirts into Incredible Hulk candidates. Kids get taller, fill out, and become more developed as they grow which means new clothes every year. Except that the clothes don’t actually need to be new. As long as your child feels confident and stylish, you can absolutely source kids’ clothes from secondhand clothing stores at a discount in price and an increase in eco-responsibility.

Believe it or not, kids actually love second-hand clothes. You can become a smart-budgeting and eco-friendly parent with a little savvy second-hand shopping.

 1) Children Grow Faster than Clothes can Wear Out

Some kids grow like weeds. Every few months they need a new length of pants or a new cut of shirt. They grow in size and in stylish taste, so parents are constantly having to replenish childhood closets. You’re not the only parent who doesn’t want to toss perfectly good outgrown clothes. Join the global hand-me-down community by shopping secondhand kid’s clothes and be sure to upcycle when your kids grow out of what they’re wearing now.

2) Second-Hand Clothes are Less Expensive

If you’re shopping for your children on a budget (aren’t we all?) then used clothing can almost always be found at a lower cost than new garments. Kids go through clothing fast and often kid’s clothing is built to survive more than a few play sessions. You can find some great deals and a cool collection for your child’s closet this year without blowing your budget by shopping second-hand.

3) Used Clothes are Softer on Sensitive Skin

If you have a picky dresser or a child with sensitive skin, you know how valuable pre-softened clothes can be. New clothes are starched and treated to look good on the shelf. Their fibers are stiff and new, and the tags still have sharp corners. Used clothes, however, have been washed a few times. This means they’re free of retail chemicals and those fibers and tags have softened up for comfy relief on a child’s sensitive skin.

4) Find Hidden Gems Outside Fashion Trends

Parents and kids often don’t care for today’s clothing fashions, and you’re not limited. Shopping secondhand clothes opens a world of retro fashion and hidden gems for you and your child to explore.

5) The Perfect Source of Costume Supplies

Last but certainly not least, secondhand shopping is perfect for costume supplies. Whether you’re planning for a Halloween or building a child’s dress-up collection, used clothes offer a low-cost and fun way to find all sorts of interesting pieces from novelty shoes to formalwear.

If your children are growing fast and you want to make smart parenting decisions, try used children’s clothing. It’s eco-friendly, soft, and extremely cost-effective for the whole family. You might even find a few hidden gems for yourself in the racks. For more great green living ideas or an apartment with green living priorities, contact us today!

Are Plastic Coffee Makers Bad for You?

Plastic Coffee Makers

So you’re convinced that you can live longer if you sip a cup of coffee religiously every day, as shown by many studies. And so you carefully handpick your the best types of coffee like Fairtrade and organic products every time. But have you thought of other ways through which toxins can end up in your morning cups of coffee and undermine your plans to live longer?

BPA (Byphenol A) is no stranger to us. It’s a toxin that’s always lurking around in our kitchen and can make its way into your coffee cups through your plastic coffee maker.

If your joy of owning a new plastic coffee brewer is being dampened by a weird plastic taste in the coffee, you should be worried about more than just the plastic taste. You could be downing significant amounts of BPA, which has been linked to many serious health issues like fertility issues, high blood pressure, endocrine disorders, and certain types of cancer.

How Plastic Coffee Makers Can Lace Your Coffee with BPA

Plastic coffee makers can release BPA into your brew when the plastic holder containing the drink is heated up. The results of a certain study show that plastic bottles release higher amounts of BPA into their contents when filled with boiling water. A similar result occurs with the plastic containers and tubing of coffee makers coming in contact with boiling water.

Even under normal room temperatures, plastic containers can still release significant amounts of BPA. In another study, higher levels of BPA were recorded in the urine samples of participants who drank cold liquids from polycarbonate bottles for a week.

Does Your Coffee Maker Leak BPA?

Many manufacturers of plastic kitchen products that are used to prepare and serve food and drinks have made efforts to remove BPA from their products. Some makers of plastic coffee makers market their products as BPA-free options. However, these claims are usually not verified by independent labs, so there’s no way of guaranteeing their authenticity. In other instances, manufacturers simply substitute BPA for other equally toxic materials like BPS (Byhenol S).

So, how can you tell if your coffee maker or espresso machine contains BPA? In some instances, it can be quite obvious with your coffee having a strong plastic aftertaste. But your coffee can still contain significant amounts of BPA even without leaving a plastic aftertaste.

Other Healthier Ways to Drink Coffee

Since it’s quite difficult to tell if your coffee maker is leaking BPA or not, it’s advisable to avoid coffee makers with any plastic parts, whether it’s their filter, container, or tubing. Most single-serve and drip brewing coffee makers are made of plastic parts, so you might want to ditch them altogether for healthier ways to make coffee. 

You can try coffee making systems such as those of glass, porcelain, and stainless steel. You can also opt for portable French press coffee makers that come with glass carafes and stainless steel mesh filters. Other alternative methods like pouring hot water over grounded coffee beans and filtering out the water using unbleached coffee meshes are also much healthier.

These alternatives may require more efforts compared to single-serve plastic coffee makers, but they’ll help ensure that your morning cups of coffee as healthy as they ought to be.

6 Incredible Free Apps for a Good Night’s Sleep

Apps for a Good Night's Sleep

These days, it’s easy to get stressed out, and it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep as a result. You may be tempted to pay for apps that will help you wind down, but you don’t have to: You can get some excellent ones for free.

1. HEADSPACE 

This app is absolutely incredible. It offers “sleepcasts” that help you visualize a relaxing experience as you’re about to doze off. You’ll have plenty of resources if you simply use the free version, but you could pay $95 per year to have access to over forty themed meditation courses.

2. CALM

Calm is an excellent app with wonderful sleep stories. You can choose the free version, which provides you with plenty of guided meditations, or you can purchase the premium version for $70 per year and have access to more meditations and sleep stories. Honestly, the free version is just as good, although there is a bit less variety.

3. PZIZZ

The free version of this app allows you to set a timer for yourself before you go to bed. It will play beautiful “dreamscapes” for you as you’re dozing off.  You can choose from a wide variety of soothing sounds to listen to as you’re sleeping if you pay $60 per year.

4. SLUMBER

This is an excellent app because it provides you with plenty of bedtime stories, sleep meditations, and, if you’re in the mood, it even gives you the option to listen to the sound of a Jacuzzi as you rest your head on your pillow and escape into dreamland. The caveat is that you can only listen to around ten episodes. This is more than enough for a good night’s rest, but you can hear more if you pay $40 per year.

5. THE SLEEP CYCLE

Thankfully, this app is completely free. You can use it to track your sleep patterns and get tips for improving the quality of your rest.

6. SLEEPIEST

This is a great app for parents. It offers plenty of soothing bedtime stories for your little ones. If you’re having some trouble winding down yourself, it also provides guided meditations and relaxing white noise to help you drift off to sleep. There is a free version available, which offers more than enough. However, you can purchase the premium version for $100 per year.

Sometimes, it can be tempting to dish out your hard-earned cash on sleep apps, but the truth is, you don’t have to. You can simply use the free versions, go to bed at the same time every night, and maybe even take a bath, pour yourself a bit of lavender tea, or do some relaxing yoga poses if you’re having trouble winding down.

It can be extremely difficult to get the rest you need but doing everything you can to ensure a good night’s sleep can improve so many areas of your life. Sleeping for a minimum of seven hours per night has so many benefits. These include boosting your immune system and improving your productivity.

5 Simple Steps to Make Your Dreams Come True

Make Dreams Come True

Having a dream often seems like something we only get to think about. But that’s not true. Many people achieve their dream, whether that dream is to be famous, to be a veterinarian, or to be a business owner. All of these things are possible. If your dream is physically possible, then it’s personally possible. The only thing in between is time and effort. Here are the five simple steps to make your dream come true.

1) Define Your Dream 

Start by really defining your dream. Narrow it down to a real job title you can hold, trip you can take, or set of actions you can complete that will equal reaching your dream.  Write down what your dream is and who you will be when you achieve it. If your dream is a career goal, define your role and how you might get there. If your dream is to take a trip or have an experience, write down exactly the experience you want to have so you can make plans to experience it. When you define a dream in concrete terms, it becomes a reachable goal you can effectively work toward every day. 

2) Define the Steps

Next, lay out what it will take to achieve your defined dream. Write it down as a set of necessary or logical steps. For example, to become a doctor you will need to attend medical school. To write a novel, you will need to write several pages a week. If you want to be famous, start by creating online content and building a small internet audience. Any human goal is possible when you know the steps. 

3) Believe Every Day

Don’t let your dream start to feel distant. Think about your dream every day. Nurture the dream, develop your vision of what you want. Then find one way every day to make that goal a little closer, whether that’s studying medical textbooks, writing a page of your novel, or building your own podcast. This keeps your dream real and reachable. 

4) Value the Small Decisions

Don’t underestimate the power of small decisions. Just waking up and choosing to embrace each day with energy will get you closer to your dream. Reward yourself for choosing an hour of study instead of taking a nap. Value yourself for practicing your craft or researching the next step. Even if it doesn’t feel like you’re making big progress, a little progress every day will bring you ever-closer to making that dream come true.

5) Take on Challenges & Mistakes as Lessons

Last but not least, don’t allow yourself to be discouraged by challenges or even mistakes. Everyone experiences setbacks and no one pursuing a dream does so without a little trial-and-error. Take every challenge as a learning experience. As long as you can make another plan, you can learn and keep working toward your dream.

Making your dreams come true may sound like a fairy-tale today, but in just a few weeks of actualizing and planning to approach your dream can make it feel much closer within your grasp. With a few months or years of forward-momentum, your dream can become reality.

How to Achieve a More Sustainable Lifestyle in 2021

New Year, New You!

One of the most significant issues facing the modern world is the destruction of nature. An excessive amount of animals are endangered and becoming extinct. Besides this, climate change is harming coral reefs, forests, animals, and people. The good news is that everyone can aid in saving the planet by achieving a more sustainable lifestyle.

Go Paperless with Personal Finances

Many aspects of personal finance, like getting your taxes done in person and by mail, often require lots of paperwork. You can avoid wasting paper when you find tax prep services online. Your actions will help save many trees from being cut down to make paper. Other ways to go paperless with your finances include paying bills online, signing up for electronic statements, digitalizing documents, and more.

Reduce Plastic Use

Consequently, plastic is littering oceans, killing sea life, choking animals to death, filling landfills to the brim, and more. You can begin eliminating plastic from your lifestyle by using eco-friendly items such as a stainless steel water bottle, biodegradable garden pots, reusable produce bags, and others. Next time you purchase a product, consider how your actions can impact the environment and people.

Avoid Eating Meat and Dairy

Eating less meat and dairy can improve your health and wellbeing and help save the environment. You’ll be lowering greenhouse gas emissions and saving forests from deforestation, among other things. Besides this, you can protect countless animals from suffering on factory farms. Consider the benefits of changing to a vegetarian or vegan diet for yourself and the planet.

Take Care of Nature

Being grateful for nature by taking care of it ensures it will still be here for future generations to enjoy. You can plant a native garden that gives birds, bees, butterflies, and other creatures a place to live, food to eat, and somewhere to hide from predators. In addition to this, native gardens help the ecosystem thrive and add natural beauty to your home.

Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

The chemicals in cleaning products can harm your and your family’s health and that of any pets you may have. You can protect your household by using greener cleaning products whenever possible. You can buy these online or locally, or consider making your own to save money. Eco-friendly cleaning ingredients include vinegar, essential oils, hydrogen peroxide, and others. Learn how to mix ingredients safely by doing your own research.

Make Smarter Fashion Choices

Instead of buying new clothes, you can shop at secondhand stores or rent clothing. This allows you to reduce waste, be kind to the environment and save money. In addition to this, buying clothes made from fur, leather, or other animal products has serious consequences. One reason for this is animals are taken out of their natural environments and killed, which throws the ecosystem off-balance.

Commit to Recycle

Recycling paper, plastic, electronics, and other items helps to conserve the environment and reduces waste. You can encourage your family to recycle by having separate bins for paper, plastic, and metal. Teaching them the value of responsible recycling can help them appreciate the environment and feel better about themselves.

Everyone must take positive steps to save our planet. You can begin by making small changes and build up to larger ones. You can also inspire others to protect nature by changing your habits and being a good role model. Make sure to spread the word to everyone you know, because we only have one planet.

6 Things to do During the COVID-19 Lockdown to Keep You Sane

Girl during COVID-19 lockdown looking out of her apartment window

Being bored at home due to COVID-19 lockdowns has become a pretty common thing. Many people work with counselors online, do online therapy for depression, and have even found the answer to the question “what is TMS for depression?” and taken steps to treat theirs with this method. 

However, any therapist will tell you that staying busy is key to fighting the COVID-19 depression that has affected millions of lives since lockdowns began. If you’re struggling to find something to keep you sane, less depressed, and a whole lot less bored during this time, read on below for a few things to do during the pandemic lockdown. 

Start Working Out/Exercise

One productive way to stay busy during lockdown is by exercising or starting a new workout routine. Remember, you don’t have to be outdoors to exercise, though if you can get out on your back porch or into the yard to get some air, that is a good idea. Start small with working out because you don’t want to overdo it, pull a muscle, and end up at the doctor during a time when no one wants to be out and about if they don’t have to be. 

Finish Your Christmas Shopping

Christmas is right around the corner, so if you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping, during a lockdown is the perfect time to plant yourself in a chair, grab the computer and get it done. The best thing about online Christmas shopping is you never have to leave your house, you can do it all from the comfort of your armchair, no masks or social distancing needed. 

Learn a New Language 

If you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, now is the time to do it. From a wide selection of YouTube videos to being able to sign up for classes online, if you want to learn a new language, then this is the time to do it–when you’re locked in and have nothing else to do. 

Set Some Goals

Most people set out to set goals at the end of the current year, so they’ll be ready to hit the ground running when January 1st rolls around. Whether you’re setting business or personal goals, why not get a jump on goal setting while you’re in lockdown? 2020 has been rough on everyone, so why not make goals to help 2021 be a year of recovery and even better for yourself and your family? 

Take an Online Course

Whether you’re looking to further yourself at work once the lockdown is lifted, or if you’ve had a hobby that you want to learn more about, taking an online course is a productive use of your time during the lockdown. It can also be fun to learn something that you’ve been wanting to learn but never had the time for before the arrival of the COVID-19 virus. Whether it’s signing up for business courses or signing up for courses to improve your writing, you won’t be bored and you’ll get something out of it in the long run. 

Write a Novel

Speaking of writing classes, if you’ve always loved to write, and have had the idea in your head for a book for many years now, this is the perfect time to get those words down on paper. It’s much easier to get published in today’s modern world, so what have you got to lose? 

These are just a few of the best activities you can participate in when you’re bored during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Remember, this too will pass, so why not make the best of being home while you can?