It’s clear by now that most of us built our lives and households around electrical appliances and tools. But have you ever stopped for a second to ask yourself how much of an impact these things have on the environment?
The truth is, our modern lives are almost fully dependant on electric tools and appliances. Our houses couldn’t function properly without them, and we wouldn’t be able to build houses or improve our homes without power tools.
But all of that comes at a cost. A cost to the environment that is. Something as simple as a gas-powered lawnmower can emit the same level of volatile organic compounds (VOC) as 8 new cars driving 55 miles per hour for the same amount of time, according to the Environmental Protection Agency of the US (EPA).
So, what can you do about it? You can’t just simply not mow the lawn, the same way you can’t just stop using your washing machine. With so many benefits, is it even possible to reduce the number of tools and appliances you use?
The answer is no, and you don’t need to!
Modern technology is mankind’s gift that keeps on giving. The same developments in technology that made all these tools and appliances so important in our lives have now moved on from producing high-emission products and instead turned to battery-powered tools.
You must have seen at least a couple of advertisements talking about how new cordless tools are all the craze right now, and they’re not wrong!
Cordless electric tools have managed to shake up the entire industry, and behind all that stands one simple innovation – the lithium-ion battery. They first appeared in smartphones, but have since become much more powerful and versatile, and are now used in all sorts of cordless products, from lawnmowers to construction site tools, and even cars like Tesla.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the ways cordless electric tools can help you reduce your carbon footprint and the overall pollution levels.
1. No More Fossil Fuels
Burning fossil fuels for energy is responsible for 75% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the US. Why add to that number when you can get a cordless electric version of gas-powered tools that have all the same, if not better features.
This is especially important for gardening tools that many people use on a daily basis. Many gardening tools require a mixture of gas and oil in order to work, and all that is burned and emitted into the air. You breathe this in directly while you use them, and so does your entire neighbourhood.
But the problem is not just about you and your neighbourhood. When you take a look at the bigger picture, all the gas used to power gardening tools in the US adds up to more than 3 billion litres, according to the EPA.
To put that into perspective, it’s 5% of the entire air pollution in the United States. Not much, but certainly an alarming number considering it comes only from gardening products.
Cordless tools have zero emissions and are much more regulated for environmental issues, so you can do a lot of good for the environment by switching to a cordless option. Furthermore, you can even charge your cordless tools via solar panels to decrease your emissions even more.
2. More Efficient Use
What sets cordless tools apart is that they’re designed with the utmost attention to energy-efficiency. This means that you won’t use any energy you don’t need to.
If you’re, let’s say, trimming the hedges in your backyard, your cordless trimmer will optimize the power usage depending on the thickness of your shrubs. When it cuts through thin branches, it will use only the power needed for that branch, and not a single watt more.
This leads to a longer battery life, which in turn leads to less charging and less frequent battery replacements. It might not seem like much of a difference, but when millions of people around the world are using these products daily, the overall impact is enormous.
And not to mention that your electricity bills will also drop significantly.
In addition, the more people are interested in cordless technology, the more incentive for manufacturers to improve the efficiency of their products and even further reduce their environmental impact.
Dyson even went on to announce that they will no longer produce corded vacuums. Who would’ve thought 5 years ago that corded vacuums will become a thing of the past soon? The future is looking bright for cordless tools.
What sets lithium-ion batteries apart from other power sources is that they can be recycled.
But the recycling part is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
These batteries have a lifespan of a few years, and when they’re dead, they usually end up in landfills. Researchers from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) estimate that only 5% of Lithium-Ion batteries end up being recycled.
This poses a huge environmental threat to our planet, as the batteries are filled with chemicals that leak and go into the soil and groundwater.
However, this isn’t a problem that can’t be solved. All it needs is a little education and awareness.
Luckily, many governments, businesses, and activists are making it easier for people to dispose of such batteries so they can be recycled properly. There are also government-sponsored programs that aim to find innovations and develop new technologies that can recycle lithium-ion batteries more efficiently, like the Faraday battery challenge in the UK.
If you have old lithium-ion batteries and don’t know how or where to recycle them, check out this tool that helps you find your nearest recycling locations.
You can really make a difference to the global greenhouse gasses emissions by switching to cordless electric tools. They don’t emit any toxic chemicals and are much more optimized for energy usage than tools with any other power source.
In addition, with technology evolving so quickly and manufacturers looking to further improve the ecological footprint of their products, things are looking good for the entire industry. So go ahead, make that switch, and support the shift towards making our planet a better and healthier place to live.