Sustainability is an important topic for us. We support organizations like the Holcim Foundation and Theodore Payne Foundation because they are making positive strides in the areas of sustainable construction and sustainable gardening, respectively. There are steps we can all take now—both big and small—to live a more sustainable lifestyle at home. Examples include using drought-tolerant native California plants in your garden, installing a solar or other type of regenerative energy system, or using recycled, regenerative and energy-efficient materials in home improvement projects. Finding ways to reduce your consumption of energy and water can help minimize your carbon footprint. Every little bit makes a big difference over time, especially if more Angelinos are taking action in whatever ways they can.

One interesting way to both modernize your home and improve sustainability is by using certain smart technologies. It may seem contradictory to think that more technology is the answer, but it can be in some cases. Let’s take a look at a few ways smart tech can impact your home’s sustainability:

Smart Thermostat

One of the biggest drains of electricity in Southern California is air conditioning. We turn our A/C units on in mid-Spring and they may not go off again until the fall. It’s no secret it can get very hot in Los Angeles and we need to stay cool. Unfortunately, many older air conditioning systems and thermostats are not very efficient. Today’s smart thermostats are great. They can be programmed and controlled from your phone. They can turn on and off when necessary and maximize energy consumption during on- and off-peak hours for the local electrical grids. You can keep your home cool while significantly reducing electricity usage. Obviously, the other benefit here is lower energy bills. Even if you already have a solar energy system and are saving that way, a smart thermostat is a great upgrade to consider. 

Smart Appliances

Some smart appliance features are a little silly when you think about it. You may not need a whole computer system to manage your fridge. However, most are designed to be very energy efficient, as well as water efficient. Again, the smart tech can be paired with phones and other devices (including whole-home smart systems that can control everything from home lighting, window coverings and climate control). They can work together to make your life more convenient while also reducing the amount of electricity and water you use. Look for smart appliances with the ENERGY STAR logo, which can provide some additional tax benefits.

Smart Gardening Technology

Smart technology and sustainability can be effective outside your house, as well. There are many different smart gardening devices and systems that can greatly improve the quality of your garden. At the same time, you can maximize your water and electricity usage. Smart gardening systems allow you to manage your watering times and amounts for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Your plants, trees and lawn can be watered exactly as much as needed and at the best times, so you aren’t wasting water.

These are just a few simple ideas to consider for your home. Some types of smart technology can make life a little more fun and convenient, while also improving the sustainability of your home if used properly.