Researchers are relentlessly working to conceive and create new technologies to save our environment. While some clean technologies, like solar power, have been around for decades, scientists and manufacturers are continually tweaking and improving these older tech options bring about newer energy resources. Other innovations, like smartphones, have been accidentally ecological in some ways, even while they’re creating new problems. Here are some eco-innovations the world is feeling hopeful about.
Biotechnologists are racing the clock to stay ahead of climate change. One of the projects they’ve been working on lately is creating varieties of rice that are resistant to flooding. Most parts of the world are dependent on rice as their primary food product, so this is a huge step. Meanwhile, the European Union has promised to support research into a Barcelona-led project for developing drought-resistant cereal crops. Flooding, drought, and wildfires are expected to increase as our climate changes, and the impact will be devastating to poor countries in particular.
Our society has become absolutely dependent on transportation, but our gasoline consumption — and the pollution that results from burning all that fuel — is not even remotely sustainable. Green car technology is aimed at reducing the life cycle emissions of the vehicles we drive or ride in. Life cycle emissions is a tally of the energy used and pollution generated over the life cycle of a vehicle, including manufacturing, operation, and disposal of both the car itself and the fuel it uses over its lifetime.
The green car movement encompasses several technologies, including electric cars, hybrid vehicles, and those that use alternative fuels. Biofuels are a promising option. These fuels are generated from living organisms or their metabolic waste products, including the waste of crops like sugar cane and corn.
While massive oil spills and leaks have endangered the oceans in recent years, bacteria and fungi have been extremely helpful in cleaning up the contaminated environments. These microorganisms have also been used to decontaminate wastewater in urban environments. Biotech is also creating materials that can store carbon dioxide to help reduce the greenhouse effect and replace toxic building materials like asbestos with healthy alternatives like sheeting made from banana trees.
Reliable 4G LTE networks, such as T-Mobile, are enabling people to use their mobile device as their computer, radio, television, and more. Millennials, in particular, are receiving all their reading material and most of their entertainment on their phone. This is reducing the demand for consumer electronics, printed materials, mail, and other consumer goods dramatically. So far, there are only a few smartphones made from fully sustainable materials, but the numbers will grow if consumers support those efforts.
The Sharing Economy
Smartphone connectivity has another positive effect on the environment; it enables the sharing economy to thrive. People are offering rides through apps, such as Uber and Lyft, renting unused rooms on Airbnb, and sharing their services on TaskRabbit. As a result, younger generations are buying less durable goods, demanding fewer taxis and hotel rooms, and generally spending more money on experiences and less on things. It’s common for millennials in cities to live without cars, thanks to the availability of cheap rides. The sharing economy could have a huge impact on the environment.
Solar and Wind Power
Renewable energy sources like solar and wind power are as old as the earth, but they’ve been slow to gain traction due to the high cost of harvesting and storing their energy. That situation may finally be changing. In 2017, renewable energy crossed a vital threshold. For the first time, solar and wind power are cheaper than fossil fuels in more than 30 countries, and the technologies are on the verge of becoming widespread. In the United States, 125 solar panels are being added every minute.
Can technology save Earth? It wouldn’t be wise to rely entirely on these innovations to save our planet. We will also need to change our lifestyles, giving up some luxuries and conveniences, in order to start rolling back the damage we’ve done.
Article Submitted By Community Writer