Green technologies: using scientific knowledge for environmental protection

Written by Henry Young. Posted in Technology

Preventing further environmental degradation represents an ongoing process that includes every single human on the planet. This means that families and businesses across the globe should take action for reducing the carbon footprint, adopting sustainable living and producing minimal or zero waste. In fact, they should share the same goals, which refer to improving air quality, protecting natural resources, reducing waste and raising awareness of current struggles associated with saving the planet. Individuals can make a difference by changing vicious daily habits, unplugging devices when not in use, running the air conditioner less often, riding a bicycle through the park instead of running on a treadmill in the gym, avoiding disposable items, conserving water and recycling. In what concerns businesses, regardless of their size, changing the light bulbs, using less paper, opting for green web hosting, using alternative energy sources, getting a green audit, recycling and reusing different types of products like plastic and tin but also old office furniture and equipment can prove to be very rewarding.

Main causes of environmental degradation

Planting a tree or lightening the energy bill never hurt anybody, but it is enough to save the planet? What causes environmental degradation in the first place? We all know the side-effects, namely loos of biodiversity, ozone layer depletion and human health issues like respiratory difficulties, but what leads to such negative consequences to begin with? Water and air pollution, overpopulation, deforestation, landfills and even natural causes including wildfires, avalanches and tidal waves make up the ugly in this world. According to some people, technology should also be part of the list because it represents a solid contributor to drastic climate changes making normal living tougher. Indeed, people have become more inactive because of the harmful dependence on gadgets. We also notice increased power consumption and larger amounts of waste. However, should we blame the rapid advancement of technology for all these bad effects on the environment or the reaction of people and business around the world to breakthrough technologies? After all, they decide what to do with all the emerging tech trends.

Technology: the ally or the enemy?

In fact, the main question that inevitably arises is: how many people tried to use technology for the universal good instead of exploiting it to their own advantage? Not enough, that is for sure. Apparently, more individuals prefer to travel more instead of engaging in outdoor activities, use modern devices for entertainment instead of initiating DIY projects or reading a book, use electric appliances in the kitchen for all types of simple tasks instead of using their own hands. Nevertheless, we do have to recognize the green technologies developed specifically for minimizing the negative impact of the population on the environment. On second thought, many industries already adopted the green trend, two of them being the automotive and real estate sector. Green transportation can easily become a thing of the future taking into account that drivers have the possibility to opt for eco-friendly or clean vehicles, not to mention the numerous methods of reducing the air pollution while getting from one place to another. As for the real estate industry, more and more agents try to sell properties with green features.

How can technology save the planet?

These are great examples, but what are the actual green technologies designed to improve the current critical situation? Tech can truly save the planet by replacing harmful products that eventually end up on the ground, in oceans or in those landfills mentioned above in the article, increasing energy efficiency by using, for instance, a smart thermostat that enables consumers to reduce emissions while saving money as well and obviously, preventing emissions, which contributes significantly to global warming, by using sustainable energy source for electricity generation. Some people strongly believe that relying on technology to save the planet represents a huge mistake. On the other hand, pressing forward with breakthrough technologies represents a good strategy for other people. The solution might be somewhere in the middle. We can use technology, but only if we do it properly and mindfully. Of course, people do not make a direct connection between scientific knowledge and nature, but intelligent infrastructure and smart agriculture can only be possible by exploiting that knowledge and consequently helping the surrounding environment.

Green technologies developed for universal good

After determining how technology can revive the planet, we should move on to the green technologies currently available, namely drones, used to combat deforestation because the can monitor activities in remote areas, energy-efficient lighting replacing the traditional light bulb that consumes far more energy than we afford, smart grid, carbon-dioxide reverse combustion, vertical farming and biofuels. These technologies exist, but they cannot do anything positive for the planet if they do not benefit from human support. For instance, a landfill alone highlights the diverse range of materials that businesses dispose of and that they could recycle without any problem because they surely do not lack solutions, but how many companies actually do it? The reality is that waste management still does not represent a priority for business owners who fail to understand that you can turn trash into money if you show a little initiative. The problem is that people do not like change or they cannot give up on their bad habits, even if a different mindset has the power to transform the planet and make it a brighter place for everyone.

Big change starts small

In conclusion, is not the technology that harms the surrounding environment but people’s indifference. Having the power to make a difference means nothing if you do not have the motivation. Of course, we cannot expect a 180-degree change immediately, but even if we make baby steps, we can still get there sooner or later and achieve the common objectives mentioned at the beginning of the article. For individuals, it all starts with adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle by cutting down on energy, starting a compost bin and recycling more while for businesses, installing solar panels, making green upgrades in the office and using less paper truly represents a step forward. On a bigger scale, using the green technologies developed will definitely result in a more positive impact on the entire planet.