23 Jun Using Your Smartphone to Fight Global Warming
Global warming is a complicated issue. Depending on who you talk to, it’s either the biggest threat to humanity since saber-toothed tigers, or it’s a multi-level conspiracy aimed at robbing you of your right to drive four-wheeled tanks down the freeway. Unfortunately, global climate change is a very real thing that has happened multiple times in the long history of our planet. The problem we face today is that it seems as though human impact has hastened these changes. But while we may be part of the problem, we can also be part of the solution. But wait, you say, what can I do? I’m just one person with a smartphone.
Well, we are so glad you asked.
1 – Research
The best way to combat negative human impact on the climate is through education. Unfortunately, as the issue becomes more and more heated (pun certainly intended), more and more disinformation is being sowed by both sides. It can be difficult to sift out the fact from the fiction. However, there are numerous smartphone apps available that can help you do just that. The Global Warming Glossary is one such app. It offers the user with over 500 specific terms, and allows for keyword searches. Another useful program is the Just Science app, which provides a timeline of Earth surface temperatures from the years 1800 to 2009. It’ll even allow you to zoom in on specific areas of the world, and see how the climate change is affecting places like Fosse, Norway, or Togo, Africa. There are other apps available as well, but make sure that you’re picking up on ones that offer unbiased views. Apps that reference reputable scientific journals and studies are more credible than ones that focus on shock tactics or sensationalism.
2 – Monitor
Once you’ve learned a bit about global warming, you’ll no doubt want to do your part to help stop it (you seem like the interested type, being here and reading this article and all). The next step that you’ll need to take is to figure out just how much excess energy you’re using. Once again, your smartphone can help you on your way. Monitoring devices like MeterPlug actually attach to your various appliances and wall outlets, and keep a constant record of each machine’s electricity usage. The information is then sent directly to your phone for review. In the same vein, Automatic is a hardware\software package that uses your smartphone to monitor your driving habits and your cars fuel efficiency. It also works directly with your car’s internal computer to identify problems that might cause you to waste more gas or oil. There are other apps available as well, and new ones are being created all the time.
3 – Automate
The last step in using your phone to save the world lies in automating your home. Although home automation may sound like something that will eat up your kilowatt-hours like a Hungry Hungry Hippo in a marble factory, don’t let the term fool you; people who opt to automate their homes end up using substantially less energy than those who do not. This is made possible through energy saving lighting controls, automated climate systems, automatic appliance shutoffs, and others. Honestly, your automation options are much more varied than this article has space to convey. The great thing is that when you’ve taken that step and begun to automate your home, you can actually use your smartphone as its central nervous system. Did you maybe accidentally leave some lights on when you left for work this morning? No problem, just access your home through your phone and shut them off. Do you want your house to be nice and cool when you get home after a long, hard day, but don’t want to waste power on your AC? Just tell your phone to open some windows and let in a nice breeze. A fully automated home is a big step on the road to sustainability, and with better alternative energy options becoming increasingly available, the time might not be far distant when the monthly energy bill is a thing of the past. So make sure to do your part. You may just be one person with a smartphone, but you can still make a big difference.