Excerpt via WGSN
From boosting energy efficiency to keeping microplastics out of the ocean, smart tech and appliances are bringing eco-friendly innovation into the home. Here are the top 3 trends:
Reducing Water Waste
Connected showers focus on energy saving through smart features. The SmarTap shower tracks water usage and shower length through an app, while Hydrao’s shower head features LED lights that change color depending on the amount of water used. EvaDrop‘s shower head uses motion sensors to adjust the flow of water depending on where the person is in the shower, such as shampooing hair out of the water flow, to minimize water waste. U by Moen‘s shower can be brought up to temperature and paused until its user is ready to shower and the Waterhawk Smart Rain shower head shows how much water is spent per shower down to a tenth of a gallon, helping users get a clear picture of the associated costs.
Outside the shower room, smart sprinklers and irrigation controllers reduce water consumption by drawing on data from sensors, weather forecasts and plant-care databases to determine watering needs. The Orbit B-hyve optimizes irrigation via a live weather feed and the ecological needs of a yard, while the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller allows users to customize zones with specific details such as vegetation type, sun exposure, slope and more.
In the kitchen, appliance design is helping to improve sustainability and reduce food waste.
- Beko’s HarvestFresh, Haier’s Fresher Techs and Bosch’s VitaFresh fridges preserve food for longer. Smart g ardens let users grow and harvest fresh herbs and microgreens at home, cutting down on waste and eliminating transport costs
- Environmentally friendly dishwashers combine soil sensors, water filtration and improved jets to reduce energy and water consumption. Miele’s Energy Saver and Extra Economical wash programmes use 199kWh of energy per year (vs up to 300 in competitor products), while Beko’s DIT38530 washer uses just 2.36 gallons of water per cycle (vs 3+ gallons)
Thanks to energy efficiency and recycling initiatives (Keurig and Nespresso have committed to making 100% of pod products recyclable by 2020), pod-based coffee machines are a surprising environmental win, according to independent studies comparing coffee-brewing methods
Sustainable Laundry Room
- Clothes washing and drying is one of the most resource-intensive household chores, wracking up high levels of carbon emissions and resource use. High-efficiency washing machines use less water and electricity than traditional models. Electrolux’s EFLW427 washer uses around 60 kWH of energy per year (compared to 100+ for competitors’ models), while Samsung’s WF45K62 uses 3,850 gallons of water per year (vs 5,000+). AEG’s ProSense automatically measures each load to provide a tailored, precisely timed wash cycle that uses a minimum of water, while Beko’s AutoDose, Bosch’s i-Dos and Electrolux AB’s machines use sensors to detect the volume, fabric type and/or soiling level for washing.
- From 2020, Arçelik’s washing machines will have built-in filtration systems that prevent 90% of synthetic microfibres from escaping into city sewers, and eventually oceans. The technology is open-source and freely available for competitors to use
- For older models, the PlanetCare microfibre filter can be retrofitted onto any washing machine to remove 80-90% of microfibres from laundry, which are eventually turned into backing material in car upholstery