In recent years, we as a society have been making strides towards a greener future. But even with all of the progress that we’ve made, we’ve done little to stop the progression of climate change. According to tech giant Bill Gates, we don’t just need to switch to LED bulbs and recycle our plastics–according to Gates, “we need an energy miracle.” Luckily, software companies are working harder than ever to make that a reality. Here, we lay out some of the newest and most innovative software solutions to today’s sustainability problem.

Smart Home Technology

Though installing a smart home setup may just seem like a matter of convenience, for many people, it’s a step towards a greener lifestyle. Smart devices make it easier to conserve energy, slashing both your carbon footprint and your energy bill. Programmable thermostats, in particular, are helping families to reduce their energy consumption. For most households, heating and cooling account for more than half of energy usage each month. Much of this is wasted energy from the house being heated while occupants are at work or out of the room. A smart thermostat allows families to program a schedule using their smartphone, ensuring that rooms are the only climate controlled when occupied.

Smart fridges are also changing the face of food waste, which is a significant problem for many American households. Smart fridge software can track ingredients and leftovers along with expiration dates, making it easier to remember to eat items before they spoil. You can even sync your fridge with your smartphone to create a shopping list.

Trackers and Analytic Software

Most people have heard of tracking devices such as the FitBit, but some software companies are taking personal analytics beyond the realm of exercise. Now, you can also monitor water usage and energy consumption via your smartphone. Wifi-capable meters can be attached to utilities in your home and communicate with your smartphone about usage and diagnostics. This can help you to gauge just where the majority of your energy and water is ending up, and how to cut back on your consumption.

This type of analytic software can also be helpful for keeping an eye on the house when on the go. You can check in and make sure that there are no abnormalities that could indicate a burst pipe or loose wiring. That way, you can be sure to send someone to solve the issue before wasting too much water or energy.

Self-Driving Cars

The software involved in operating cars is becoming more advanced by the day. Not only does this make the resulting vehicle safer, but also more efficient. The self-driving cars that are predicted to hit the market soon are expected to be energy efficient, with many models embracing an eco-friendly electric design. As vehicle design continues to improve, we can expect to see carbon emissions from traffic drop to reasonable levels.

In the past few years, more and more people have chosen to make a change and take a stand against climate change. Many companies are taking steps to fight rising emissions with innovative software solutions that allow people to cut their carbon footprint. With technology such as smart homes and self-driving cars on the horizon, we can hopefully expect to see the threat of climate change become a thing of the past.