The Earth is in trouble. We all know that by now. But what we do not know is can technology save our planet? Or will it push us towards a darker phase? Well, the right answer will be, not all technologies are enemies of Mother Earth. Some of them have been developed to save it from others that endanger lives. We need to first identify the friends and foes in technology before deciding anything. There is no denying that technology has, in fact, a role to play in making the planet safer, comfortable and sustainable for all living creatures. So what is the wait for? Scroll on!
Known by many names, such as green tech, or eco-friendly technology, these technologies have been developed over time to improve the status of the environment and all lives. Sectors like renewable energy development, recyclable material development, low-cost manufacturing, all are trying to make the best use of these technologies to create a safer and sustainable planet. Let us now give you an idea as to which technologies help us look towards a better future.
Sustainable materials development
We are aware of the tremendous effects of plastic on the environment. But some technologies are helping us find an alternative to plastic that does more harm than good. Plant-based plastic or eco-friendly plastic is one such material that has gained popularity over time. In the future, bioplastics may replace conventional plastic completely, thus reducing the burden on Mother Earth.
Graphene is yet another miracle material that may take our manufacturing sector a notch up. A strong, thin and ultra-conductive material, Graphene may replace iron, steel and similar materials over time, taking our environmental endeavours a notch up. One more sustainable product is the fake meat created with equally delicious soy protein. Large-scale consumption of meat-free meat will eventually save the animals.
Solar and wind harvesting
Solar and wind energies are in great demand these days, as these are renewable sources of power and also work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, these are being harvested on a large-scale to replace the non-renewable energy sources that are considered harmful to the environment. Imagine a building with each window having a solar panel attached to it. This is the picture of the future when wind and solar energies will rule supreme. The planet can then breathe a sigh of relief.
Too much carbon dioxide in the air will choke all life forms. It will also take global warming to an irreversible limit, thus creating a ravage on Mother Earth. The carbon capture and storage process involve capturing CO2 from all kinds of emissions, industrial, residential or commercial, and store these deep into the Earth as carbonated rocks. The first carbon capture process was carried out in Switzerland. The US and Canada now have carbon-capture start-ups making the most of the technology.
Unlike the fission process, nuclear fusion results in zero waste and zero carbon emission. Sounds like science fiction? Well, it is a blazing reality, one that scientists have been trying to adopt for so long. However, the only drawback is the temperature requirements of the process. For any two particles to fuse, enough heat energy is required, sometimes beyond the tolerable limit of the materials that the containers are made of. However, newer and better materials are also being developed. So, we can assume that it will not be long before every nuclear plant will take to the fusion process, instead of fission that generates tremendous radioactive waste.
Some other environment-friendly technologies that will be a boon for Mother Earth in the future is 3D printing - allowing low-impact manufacturing and plastic recycling, AI systems in all sectors - from agriculture to manufacturing and aerospace, smart power production, development of environmental sensors, etc. These technologies can indeed make the planet a way better place to inhabit.
Now that you have an idea about your friends in technology, let us tell you about the enemies that you need to fight to preserve this planet.
- Technotrash - Parts of damaged or worn-out electronic equipment, devices and everything tech can result in heaps of trash that increase the amount of waste mankind generates every day. This trash may end up in oceans and landfills, pollute drinking water and take thousands of years to decompose. Toxic materials, like cadmium, lead and mercury ending up in the drinking water is no great picture of life. Hence, make sure that you dispose of old and worn-out devices properly, so that they do not pollute the environment further. You may also recycle them if possible.
- Mining processes - There is no dearth of damage that mining activities to the environment. Starting from the depletion of natural resources to soil erosion, such processes have tremendous environmental consequences. The only way to stop this is by analysing the environmental impact of every mining activity and thinking for the long term. Environmental codes and regulations should be more stringent and followed throughout such processes.
- Deforestation - We should not forget that Nature is sustaining us along with all other living creatures. If we continue clearing forests to make way for accommodation and commerce, we may end up creating a zero-oxygen world, where we may even have to pay to get our regular supply of breathing air. All developmental processes should be sustainable for the good of all living beings. Hence, even if we have to cut trees for some reasons, we should make sure that we plant enough to make up for the loss.
Does anything else come to your mind while speaking about eco-friendly tech? Let us know so that we can create more awareness.