Sustainability has become a more desirable and broad-ranging feature in recent years, especially among private motor vehicles. Transportation accounts for the majority of daily carbon emissions in metropolitan areas, so it makes sense to target that for reductions.
More people choose to walk, cycle, or take public transportation to work every day. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to leave the car behind all the time.
When you have to drive, it’s preferable to use a vehicle that includes eco-friendly features. If you are shopping for a more efficient vehicle, here are some of the top features to watch for.
1. Lighter Weight
Most vehicles designed to reduce impacts on the environment seek to reduce their weight below that of other vehicles. They achieve that by using light-weight metals that often derive from recycled materials.
Manufacturers forgo leather interiors and instead use durable cloth upholstery. Because the vehicle weighs less, it’s more aerodynamic and gets better gas mileage.
2. Emission Sensors
The Environmental Protection Agency has mandated that vehicles limit emissions to reduce smog and keep our air clean. A variety of emission sensors and controls can help your vehicle to maintain low emission standards.
As you look for more eco-friendly vehicles, check on the kinds of sensors and controls that will limit emissions to ensure the car or truck passes standards in your state with flying colors.
3. LED Lights
These lights are not only more energy- and fuel-efficient, but they’re also brighter. When your car illuminates the road better, that reduces the chance of accidents. They’re also easier to clean and change, which is a bonus.
4. Hybrid Engines
Hybrid engines automatically switch between electric mode and gas in order to save fuel. When the engine is idling, it changes to battery mode, and when you’re accelerating, it uses fuel while simultaneously recharging the engine.
The result is a whisper-quiet car that gets excellent gas mileage. The best part is, it actually gets better gas mileage in town because you spend more time idling, which is the completely opposite pattern from traditional all-gasoline vehicles.
5. Radar Alerts
Car crashes cost the nation billions in both health-care costs and cleanup. They typically result in the wrecked vehicles going into landfills, presumably for hundreds of years to come, and increasing pollution of the soil, water, and air.
That’s why accident prevention devices are also regarded as eco-friendly. Radar alerts are new devices increasingly installed in eco-friendly vehicles to warn the driver when you’re getting too close to a car in front of you, which can be useful in traffic.
In some instances, the car will brake automatically to prevent a collision.
6. Air Filtration Systems
The Tesla Model S has a medical-grade air filtration system that effectively removes 99.97 percent of particulate exhaust pollution, allergens, bacteria, and other contaminants from the cabin air. This is a feature that more and more makers of eco-friendly vehicles are planning to install in their cars.
You might not be able to purify all the air in the world, but you can have a substantial effect on your immediate surroundings.
7. Inflatable Rear Safety Belts
Another worthwhile method of preventing accidents and lowering medical costs is the employment of life-saving seatbelts. Ford has made the standard seatbelt in its hybrid vehicles inflatable so that if ever there’s a collision, the belt can provide more cushioning and coverage than a traditional lap-and-shoulder-harness belt.
This will reduce injuries, particularly to the head and neck. It’s also available in child seatbelts for automobiles.
Keep your eyes open for the latest innovations in vehicle safety and efficiency. You can do your part to reduce carbon emissions by included these eco-friendly features in your private vehicle.
7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption
Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.
This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?
Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.
New Technologies to Watch
These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:
- Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
- Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
- New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
- Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
- Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
- The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
- Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.
Making the Investment
All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.
Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis
Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.
Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?”
Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.
Tip #1: Focus & Determination
Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.
Tip #2: Minimize Spending
One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!
Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal
You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.
Investing in Clean Energy
One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.
With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.
The Future of Green Biz
As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.
Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.
In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!