We make a common mistake when we limit the term ‘technology’ to include only high-tech gadgets. Technology is more than smartphones, computers and Frontier internet service. There are also low-tech technologies that we use in our daily lives. Your pen is a technology, so is the clock on your wall. The way to save the world is to put higher environmental standards in place, across all technology.
There are some of us, who are working on improving technology for the environment. They have spent many years researching ideas to save our planet from inevitable doom. They have advanced technology in countless ways to improve our experience and the environment.
In this blog, we will discuss ways in which technology can improve more than our daily lives. We will look at some of the technology that exists and is improving the environment right now.
How Can Technology Improve the Environment?
Technology has always served as a tool for improvement. Sometimes helping the environment is a by-product. But some technology is purpose-built to improve the environment. Look at what the advancement of computers and the internet have done to improve our environmental footprint. Emails and office suites have reduced our paper usage in the office.
While computers have helped, there are technologies that directly affect our carbon footprint. Solar panels have been around for decades, yet we haven’t put them to use. Yes, the technology has only recently advanced enough to allow for meaningful use. Today there are solar chargeable battery packs and even solar panel wallpapers.
Although the technology is not advanced enough to be an effective replacement. There is a lot of potential and researchers are currently working on improvements. Soon, the technology will advance enough to allow us to shift everything to solar energy.
But all that is in the future. Let’s discuss the technology that is directly improving the environment:
Food Recyclers and Compost Technology
Yes! Compost making is now high-tech. Whirlpool is currently developing technology that you can keep in your kitchen. It is about the same size as your bin and you can dispose of your food leftovers. The device can then churn out compost from your leftovers in 24 hours. While traditional compost is smelly and can take months to do naturally, this device can do it in a day.
Water is our life source. Without it, there would be no more life. Water, in this reference, is clean, drinkable water. Today, the world is suffering from water shortages. Although it is not a problem for developed countries and cities, yet. According to the UN, water shortage will affect billions of people by the middle of this century. Many people have taken this threat seriously. They have developed ways with which to purify undrinkable water and make it safe. Gadgets like Lifestraw have been around for years. They use Nano-technology to filter and purify water for human consumption.
Alternative Energy Sources
Many people have dedicated their careers to finding alternative energy sources to oil. Some are exploring solar energy, wind energy, and even ocean thermal energy. According to the US Department of Energy, the largest consumers of solar energy are our oceans. This daily consumption of thermal energy is equal to 250 billion barrels of oil. To put this figure into perspective, note that the US consumes 7.5 billion barrels a year. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) technology uses the temperature difference to create energy. The temperature difference between the surface of the water and the depths operate turbines. The turbines, in turn, run generators that produce clean energy.
Electric vehicles offer zero emissions. They’re electric, so there is no combustion to speak of. That means there are no waste emissions that are harmful to the environment. While it is true that electric cars need to be charged. It is also true that the battery packs in the cars need replacement eventually. But these are things that can be improved with time. Today, electric cars offer a viable alternative to combustion engines.
As we grow, so does our technology. Decades ago when the ‘new technological age’ started we, as a people, did not focus on the environment as much as we do today. So, our technology was wasteful and damaging to the environment. Today, things like FiOS internet only exist to make our world more connected. This connectivity has allowed us to communicate better and realize our mistakes. That realization has influenced many of us to right our wrongs. As a result, we are likely to see more environmentally-friendly technology soon.