This article was originally published in the 2019 Summer issue of Invest In Style Magazine.


The hottest trend for Fall 2019 isn’t black faucets and natural materials, or particular shades of pastel. Instead, this trend-turned-lifestyle will shape our decisions about what to drive, eat and wear: environmental sustainability.




While scratching “clean toilets” off my to-do list is all the convincing I need to get a self-cleaning toilet, it’s not the main reason these toilets are a big deal. Most smart toilets use 20 percent less water than low-flow, 1.6 gallon-per-flush toilets and this is a big deal for your water bill and the environment. A 1999 study of 1,188 American homes revealed that “toilet flushes accounted for 27 percent of an individual’s daily indoor water consumption—more than washing machines (22 percent) or showers (17 percent).” A leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons a day. Before we get too pleased with our toilet upgrade, the same study found that “outdoor water applications accounted for 58 percent of overall domestic use.” Which brings us to our next household item for environmental sustainability.



Thermostats are moving from the hallway to every place they’re needed – your bedroom, living room, kitchen and dining room. Today’s thermostat has wireless sensors to measure temperature and humidity. This feature helps to balance hot and cold spots in your home. For example, new thermostats will shift heat from your stifling kitchen to your glacial basement in order to produce a just-right temperature throughout your entire home. What’s more, these units know when you’re sleeping and when you’re awake and adjust to your desired setting accordingly.




Water preservation is leading the trend to create usable spaces that require minimal maintenance and invite local wildlife. Trending are plants that require little pruning and help with pollination by attracting bees, butterflies and other insects that pollinate. Grass is out and mosaic tiles are in, as well as woodchips and moss to cover shaded areas. Homeowners are also considering the needs of local wildlife by growing seed and berry products instead of grass lawns that suck up both water and time to maintain.




Oven spray cleaners are a toxic hazard to the environment – and a hazard to your health. Enter steam-based self-cleaning ovens. Appliance companies are creating steam-based cleaning systems that require no scrubbing and no toxic cleaners. The enamel coating means you can effortlessly wipe off stuck-on drips after a 20-minute steam clean, as opposed to a traditional three hour “ self-cleaning cycle” that still subjects you to toxic fumes and tennis elbow.



Apart from fan speeds adjusting whenever you step into a room, smart HVAC units also include high-performance filtration features that clean and deodorize your breathing space. Similar to smart thermostats, room conditions will automatically adjust based on your human heat signature.



Ever wonder if you left the lights on? Now you can check from your mobile device and remotely dim or set your own lighting schedule. Smart dimmers not only allow you to set a specific lighting schedule with full-range dimming, but they also adjust according to sunrise and sunset conditions. Smart dimmers will be a hit for any purchaser who wants to simplify her life with prescheduled on and off features, while reducing hydro costs and environmental footprints.


Even if you’re no biophilia enthusiast, it’s still smart to invest in smart toilets and thermostats to attract buyers while incidentally supporting the home we all share – the earth.

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