For many people who are working to decarbonise their household, finding the right products to support this transition is key. A lot of innovative products exist that can help people understand their energy use and emissions, and make smart swaps to reduce them.
One of our motivations for launching Zerofy was to make finding these great low-carbon products easier. To this end, we include best-in-class products in the Discover section of our app, and in our online shop. We handpick products that offer granular insights into energy usage, are relatively seamless to switch to, or do the job better than the traditional option.
Below, we’ve rounded up ten great products that can help your household decarbonise, from both larger investments like an e-bike, to smaller investments like a smart shower head. Know of a great product you think we should add? Email us at email@example.com
1. An energy-saving shower head
Did you know that there is no household activity that requires as much energy per time as taking a shower? This is because of the energy required to heat the hot water used in the shower. New research suggests that by using a smart shower head, you can save up to 22% of household energy consumption on average, without any major changes or discomfort.
A smart shower head is one that can be connected to your smartphone and set to various custom functions, and also may have other features like water-saving modes or temperature indicators. They can help you to use less water and conserve energy used for heating it.
We really like the AquaClic water-saving shower head and the Amphiro smart shower head. Check them out here.
2. A Zerofy Shared Solar panel
Zerofy owns and operates a solar park in Europe that anyone in the world can rent a panel in. For 400 EUR, you rent the panel for 25 years, and it remains in our solar park. The solar energy is fed into the grid in Estonia, making you a green energy producer who is contributing to a greener grid. Zerofy sells it at the market price, and after a 20% operating fee, sends the proceeds to you. You can use the earnings as you wish, but some ideas are putting it towards your utility bill or adding it to your fund for your own solar panels. When electricity prices rise in Europe, so do your earnings from your panel.
Once you rent a panel, you’ll be able to see real-time insights in the Zerofy app, like panel electricity production, CO2 avoided, and your earnings. If you’d love to get involved in solar, but are unable to install your own rooftop panels, this is a fantastic and accessible way to participate.
3. An aesthetically-pleasing solar roof
If you are interested in rooftop solar, but aren’t a big fan of the look of solar panels, Roofit is for you. They are designed like metal sheet roofs, and integrate solar cells right into the roof module. Their solar modules use integrated photovoltaic construction elements to replace conventional roofing and facade materials. The result is a beautiful roof that looks like any traditional Nordic-designed metal roof—but it produces highly efficient solar energy.
Learn more about Roofit here.
4. Meat and milk alternatives
It’s no secret that meat production is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. The raising of cows, pigs and other livestock for human consumption, as well as the feed for these animals, is responsible for 57% of all food production emissions. Eating less meat and focusing on plant-based meals more frequently is a great way to lessen the impact of your diet. It is an action you can take immediately, (although it is important to recognise that the impact is delayed). It’s not to say that plant-based foods have no impact, but it is much smaller than meat. Poore and Nemecek’s 2018 study found that the impacts of the lowest-impact animal products exceed the average impacts of substitute vegetable proteins when it comes to GHG emissions.
Many people find that consuming alternatives that taste similar to the meat and dairy products they like can help them transition to a more plant-based diet. Recent developments in meat and milk alternatives have produced a range of products with textures closely resembling real meat and dairy products.
We like Planted Chicken, created from plant proteins, and Oatly Oat Milk, produced by turning fiber rich oats into a very close imitation of dairy milk.
5. An energy-saving shower drain
As we learned above, heating the water for your daily shower is energy-intensive, but all of the water then just goes right down the drain. Swiss company Joulia wanted to figure out how to save this energy. They have produced a shower drain channel that recovers the energy used for heating the water, making your shower more sustainable. Their system recovers the thermal energy from the hot water, and then repurposes it to preheat the incoming cold water.
View their energy-saving shower drain channel here.
6. A smart meter
A smart meter is an incredibly valuable device for households looking to decarbonise. It is an electronic device that records the real-time electricity use of your household. It measures how much electricity is used and when, and can even send this information along to your utility company. They are different from traditional analog meters which will log how much electricity is used and are typically checked once a month for the reading.
Getting a smart meter benefits your household because you can better understand your energy usage and save. They also benefit your grid as a whole. When people have smart meters, energy providers can be more precise about energy production and supply, reducing waste and providing better support for new technologies, like heat pumps and electric cars.
Get in touch with your utility provider to enquire about getting a smart meter. If you already have one, ask them how you can access your real-time electricity usage, and download the Zerofy app to see if you can connect it!
Track and reduce your household carbon footprint.
7. A smart plug
A smart plug is a device that fits in between the power socket in your wall and an appliance. They are similar in appearance to power adapters you may have used when traveling. The reason they get the ‘smart’ moniker is because these plugs allow you to control the appliance they’re plugged into remotely, enabling them to function in more environmentally efficient and useful ways.
The majority of smart plugs work by connecting to wifi, and then are controlled by an app or through a smart home hub, like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Apple Homekit. This means you’ll be able to remotely control the power going into your connected appliances, and set up automated actions. Every appliance that you have connected to a smart plug can then be visible and controllable from one place.
We have a comparison of smart plugs and from all of those we really like the MyStrom Switch and the Shelly Plug S, which you can get diretcly in our shop.
8. A smart thermometer
A connected indoor thermometer is a useful tool for displaying and tracking indoor climate data for your home. Having an overview of temperature and humidity will help you ensure a comfortable room climate. It can also help you become more mindful of how high the temperature is so you can adjust to reduce your associated CO2 emissions—and cost.
We like the Shelly Plus H&T and the Netatmo Smart Thermometer. Check them out here.
9. A smart thermostat
Did you know that heating is the largest energy end-use worldwide? Optimising your home heating and energy usage can have a big impact on your household emissions. Even though you can manually adjust your temperature, installing a smart thermostat automatically regulates the temperature, keeping your home more energy efficient. Smart thermostats often mean greater control, more comfortable homes, and even savings.
Smart thermostats use WiFi to connect with an app on your smartphone. Then, you can schedule and program when your heating or cooling turns on, and at what temperature. For example, you could program your home heating to drop by three degrees when your family is asleep, say between 10 pm and 7 am, and then increase at 7 am once everyone is awake.
We like the Shelly WiFi Radiator Valve, the Netatmo Smart Thermostat, and the Thermo Smart Thermostat
10. An e-bike for commuting
An electric bike, or e-bike, looks a lot like a regular bike, except that it comes equipped with a motor. This motor can assist you when you are pedaling. The amount of power delivered by the e-bike motor is based on how much effort you are applying to the pedals, plus the degree of assistance you have chosen. They generally have 3-5 different degrees of assistance, so you can choose based on where you are going, your level of fitness, and how you feel that day.
An e-bike can be a great investment to support you as you reduce the amount of time you spend driving. If you’re interested in bike commuting for instance, but the distance is not quite realistic on a conventional bike, the assistance from an e-bike could make this a reasonable option.
We like the Ampler Axel, the Cowboy 4, and the Van Moof S3. Read more about these great commuter e-bikes.