7 Ways To Be More Sustainable Around Your Home

Living sustainably is fast becoming a necessity for this generation and future generations. It’s really not difficult to be a good citizen if you put your mind to it. People who live in cities need to be particularly careful about caring for the environment. Here are some simple things you can do around the house to help the environment.

1. Lighting

Change out all your lighting to use LED lighting or CFL bulbs. Both of these last longer and will reduce the need to keep changing your light bulb. Try wearing an extra layer of clothing, instead of switching on the heater. You’d be surprised at how warm and toasty you’ll feel with two pairs of socks. Draw the blinds open and let the natural light shine into your home before you decide to use electricity.

2. Power

Save power and switch off your lights when you don’t need them. Run your pool cleaner on solar power or during off-peak times. Make sure you adjust your pool vacuum according to the seasons, as you won’t need to run it as long in winter. Better still, invest in converting your pool into a sustainable pool that is better for the environment.


Display a no junk mail message on your letterbox as paper is an unnecessary waste and can be negative for the environment if not disposed of properly.


Hang wet clothes on a drying line outdoors before using a powered dryer. Also, try hand washing some clothing items if you have a small load. Choosing an energy-saving washing machine is a big help. Some smart cities are offering hundreds of dollars in rebates to people who buy energy saving devices.

5. Save water

Time your showers and save water. You can purchase a shower timer for a few dollars. Invest in a shower head that is water saving. The best toilets are the kinds that are water saving and self-cleaning. Pay a little more for one that is friendly to the environment.

6. Gardening

Grow herbs, fruit and vegetables. You don’t need a large garden to do this – try planting them in pots. Use organic fertilizers and make your own compost from kitchen waste.

7. Wifi

Try switching off your wifi box and other electrical devices when you’re not using them.

For more ways to practice sustainable living check out this article.

Los Angeles is a smart city to watch in 2018

Just like any significant IT project, the smart city growth struggle issues all boil down to heritage infrastructure. Arguably, the most successful modern-day cities have been purpose-built on greenfield sites. It’s easier to build a new city than to retrofit the world’s major capitals that have been around for centuries.

Smart cities require contemporary electronic infrastructure, that is secure but allows taxpayers to get the information they want, when they want it.
It’s an urban ecosystem that emphasizes on the usage of electronic technologies to drive efficiencies in existing social, economic and ecological procedures, while simultaneously launching avenues for brand new, data-driven processes.

Examples include automatic systems such as congestion fees or detectors which feed information to a digital screen to inform drivers the number of spaces are offered in a car park.

Advantages of a smart city may include resource efficiency, reduced crime, optimized traffic stream direction, construction maintenance and, the result is better-informed taxpayers.

Think about detectors which dim public lighting if there’s not anyone about; IoT fleet direction of automatic waste collection; weather tracking (like hurricane or earthquake risk). There should be smart delivery of electricity, water and other essential supplies would be the most fundamental tenets of smart city projects.

Telecoms firm AT&T, for example, has been piloting connected drones technologies to enable first responders to provide emergency services for fire or ambulance disasters and help with audience surveillance.

Another exciting smart cities job to watch in 2018 is happening in Los Angeles, California, about 350 miles from Silicon Valley.

The metropolitan hub runs on electricity, transportation and individuals stream Internet of Things technology.

It has connectivity with programs such as ParkMe and Parker allow city-goers to stay informed about hours, rates, places and real time capability. Startup StreetLine, the startup supporting LA’s railroad sensor technologies, claims it’s stored the city’s motorists over 3 million kilometers of wasted driving period.

Philips Lighting recently introduced improvements from the CityTouch connected lighting system, which manages 110,000 street lights throughout the city.

Empowering Local Retail in Barcelona

Local retail is an important development for Barcelona. Small food stores, household products and clothing stores and other regional retailers in almost any district in town in addition to bigger companies on the principal streets of every area play a huge part in the standard of living in the city.

New customer habits imply that retail has been hugely affected and lots of local mom and pop shops have shut down, causing a social problem in the city.

One of the reasons is that these small, neighborhood retailers need support and the barrier to success in retail is high. Additionally, smaller companies often don’t have the ability to be competitive (vouchers, aggregated buying, etc.) or even the turnover or logistical infrastructure to provide online sales.

Technological knowledge and internet-use is usually lower compared to large retail centers. The challenge is to find innovative solutions to help small retailers be competitive.

Putting together a program where small mom and pop retailers have access to the bulk buying discounts and services that larger chains have will go a long way to helping the economy.

For example, if the only way to buy an oven, kitchen appliances or a vacuum cleaner is through Walmart or Amazon, it means that many family businesses can be out of business and families will lose their livelihoods. These days, smart people are learning to work with IT and set up online stores. But that’s not so easy for small business without a background in building online businesses, so a smart city initiative to help with the transition.

5 Smart Cities That Are Leading The World

As we rush headlong into the future, smart cities are in the limelight and increasingly becoming the norm. Here are five smart cities to keep an eye on.

#1 Kansas City

Kansas City is a smart city of streetlights and interactive kiosks. Wander around town and you’ll be amazed at the 50 blocks of free public Wi-Fi available (shouldn’t this be the norm for every city? I can’t wait for the day). The city’s two-mile streetcar route is beautifully designed, with lots of parking and great traffic flow. The Kansas City app brings up all the pedestrian hotspots that are available to the public.

#2 San Diego

Did you know that the city of San Diego has 3,200 smart traffic sensors? These devices were installed in 2017 to optimize traffic, parking and public safety. It has increased environmental awareness and made this city one of the most liveable cities in the USA. You’ll be amazed at the number of solar-to-electric charging stations available showing off the cities propensity to promote electric vehicle use. You wouldn’t want to be involved in crime in this city as Big Brother has you covered!

#3 Singapore

Singapore is a shining example of a smart city and one of the most progressive in Asia. Singapore has sensors and IoT-enabled cameras that are placed in strategic spots to monitor the cleanliness of public spaces and crowd density. The smart technologies employed help monitor energy, waste production and water use in real time. Impressive! Singapore is also testing driverless buses and it has a world-class monitoring system to ensure the well-being of its senior citizens.

#4 Dubai

It comes as no surprise that this desert city is one of the top smart cities in the world. In Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, smart city technology is used to control traffic routing, parking, infrastructure planning, and transportation.
Dubai’s telemedicine and smart healthcare are at the forefront of technology, and the smart buildings will blow your mind. Think smart utilities, smart education, and smart tourism. Yes, that’s smart Dubai!

#5 Barcelona

In Barcelona, Spain, the smart transportation system, and smart bus systems are a shining example of how this European city is moving with the times. There are smart bus stops with free Wi-Fi (everyone should have this!) and USB charging stations (amazing!). The Barcelona bike-sharing program and smart parking app has gone a long way to reducing congestion in traffic. The city also has sensors to monitor temperature, pollution, and noise. It can also monitor humidity and rain levels. Wanna live in Barcelona?

Reducing Social Isolation in Barcelona

Recent studies reveal the devastating consequences of loneliness on well being. Emotional isolation is a high risk factor for mortality. One city that highlighted this issue was Barcelona but it comes as a surprise that loneliness and social isolation is a generic problem right across Europe.

In particular, older people are the most vulnerable. Loneliness reduces their well being and directly influences their ability to stay independent. People who have a strong support community stay healthier and more independent for longer, which has a beneficial impacts on local communities and the broader society generally.

The city of Barcelona decided programs to engage the community in discovering cases of social isolation and alleviating the burden of health professionals.

Part of the smart cities challenge, the purpose was to produce a technology platform to encourage coordinated networks to reinforce the connections between isolated and housebound senior citizens.

It included bringing together formal and casual stakeholders and industry (professionals) as well as family, friends, acquaintances and volunteers.
The aim of the platform was to enable unique stakeholders to communicate, engage and respond to alarms as well as the demands indicated by the isolated individual.

The winning alternative had to be an open-source platform, as it’s very important that new layers of providers could be included in later stages in a dynamic framework adaptable to future demands.

The functionalities of this electronic platform included:

  • Communicating support by email, voice or video all stakeholders must be linked and in permanent conversation;
  • Social networking features with video and photograph storage — to help encourage socialization;
  • A shared calendar — to encourage daily tasks and handle medical care appointments;
  • alert system;
  • Encrypted safe storage of important records and personal data — that need to support the privacy and security of personal data constantly;
  • Health tracking features;
  • Provision of advice and instruction on use.