Technological innovation is one of the best ways to solve environmental issues. the relationship between technology and the environment is not always positive though. For instance, it is no secret that if we continue to ignore the impact of technology on the environment, we will edge dangerously closer to a climate emergency.
With deforestation, ocean acidification, and rising temperatures all proving to be a cause for concern, it is vital that we find ways for technology to play a role in making our planet a greener place. So, let us discover 5 different types of technology that can benefit the environment.
One of the most widely recognized technological advancements in recent years is the proliferation of the clean energy sector. Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power are not only increasingly common but surprisingly affordable. Moreover, the technology used to harness renewable energy has also come a long way. Solar panels for instance have become widely accessible and as a result, are highly appealing to consumers. Some companies are now considering commercial solar installation, so they’re not just for homeowners! Solar panels are the way forwards.
Putting an end to single-use plastics is very much an ongoing cause. Plastic carrier bags have disappeared from grocery stores all over the world and plastic straws have been abandoned in most cafes, restaurants, and bars. However, plant-based plastics offer a potential solution to complete eradication. Accordingly, biodegradable plastics can be produced from cassava and other plants that later break down into compost on land or at sea. Shifting towards plant-based plastics could have a significant impact on the amounts of plastic debris that end up in our ecosystem.
The number of electric cars on the roads has risen steadily over the past few years. With hybrid vehicles enabling drivers to experience a new way of driving, electric cars will soon become the norm. Electric cars also seem to be dropping in price due to developments in the batteries that are used to power these revolutionary vehicles. With ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft moving towards electric vehicles, sustainability is undoubtedly at the forefront of the latest trends in automobile usage. Although traditional vehicles are unlikely to be ruled out just yet, it will be interesting to see what else the future holds for electric cars.
Meat production has a wide range of unfortunate consequences for the environment. Land being used for livestock for instance is a major cause of deforestation in Central and South America. Additionally, beef production leads to significant carbon release which also negatively affects the atmosphere.
That being said, food technologists have produced a solution to these woes. Vegan and vegetarian alternatives to meat have soared in popularity and thanks to the work of advanced food science, these substitutes have never been tastier. Even fast food restaurants have got involved with Burger King, McDonald’s, and KFC now offering meat-free alternatives.
Powering a home is arguably one of the biggest uses of energy. Although this may be true, technology can now be used to ensure efficiency at home. Smart thermostats, motion activated lighting, and other devices make it easier to use power only when it is actually needed, saving both energy and money. These smart gadgets can be controlled remotely too which is incredibly convenient for homeowners. Smart devices do not have to stay at home either. Businesses in various different sectors can use smart technology to power their premises.
Ultimately, technological developments are helping us to use less power, and encouraging us to go about our lives with a renewed sense of duty to care for the environment. Whereas some view technology as a problem, when used innovatively in some of the ways outlined above, it can pose multiple unique solutions to environmental concerns. How else is technology benefiting the environment? Get in touch and let us know your thoughts.