What Is Green Technology And Its Benefits
Green technology is not a new phenomenon. It has been around and growing for more than two decades. It is only recently that it started to get the attention that it needs as there is an urgency to tackle global warming. This has led to an increase in the use of green technology products, with the market value of sustainable items continuing to skyrocket in recent years.
Different sectors have also caught the green technology ‘bug,’ resulting in green appliances. This has led to massive growth for green tech across other sectors to save the environment. However, this growth is not surprising given that it provides solutions to numerous environmental challenges that we face currently, such as greenhouse gasses, global warming, wildlife conservation, etc. This technology aims to replace products, materials, and processes harming the environment with other solutions that do not deplete or disrupt natural resources and the natural habitat.
The earth needs green technology as it provides solutions to the earth’s current problems. Here’s how green technology helps the planet.
Carbon emissions are significantly reduced.
The transport sector of the UK produces 28% of the greenhouse gas emission in the country. It also contributes the most harmful gasses into the atmosphere. These emissions come from cars, ships, planes, and trains. The use of electric vehicles is one way to combat greenhouse gas emissions, which is becoming a popular solution. An example of such electric vehicles adopted worldwide is the eco-electric scooter. This vehicle does not emit harmful gasses since it doesn't use fuel.
Some experts in green technology have noted that having more commuters use the e-scooters can save the atmosphere of 330 tons of harmful carbon gasses. That’s how much impact these vehicles are having on the environment. These electric scooters have signified the start of the usage of electric cars for public and personal transportation. The more people who use green tech for transportation, the lesser the number of greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere for now and the future.
Energy sources are greener and more sustainable.
It is common knowledge that the world is now moving towards the use of renewable energy sources. However, as of 2019, fossil fuels are still used as energy sources by 84 percent of the world. Fossil fuels are, however, non-renewable and are becoming exhausted. This is why green energy sources are becoming the alternatives. Green technology ensures that people can harness energy by taking advantage of nature, such as geothermal wells, turbine dams, solar panels, etc. The use of these alternative energy ensures that fossil fuels do not get depleted. It also reduces the emission of greenhouse gasses, and consequently, global warming drops.
There are other solutions that green tech offers, such as metallic foams, eco-friendly battery technology, and green buildings. More research is also being carried out to create new ways for generating energy using fuel cells, lithium-air batteries, thermal energy collectors, and other technologies.
Natural disasters, human activities, climate changes, diseases, among other things, are some of those things that threaten wildlife constantly. Animals are studied in the wild by wildlife researchers using technology. For instance, bio-telemetry and bio-logging are technologies used to collect data about the physiology and behavior of elusive animals without interrupting the wildlife and endangering the researcher’s life.
Additionally, researchers use this technology to teach and educate others, especially students, through virtual tour guides and guidebooks. Zoological parks and marine institutions also use technology to promote and teach wildlife conservation and provide meaningful encounters between the animals and the public.
The efforts put into studying and improving wildlife conservation will meet the changes and needs of conservation. Continuously innovative technology is needed to combat some of the changes occurring in the ecosystem.
More than 70 percent of the earth's surface is covered by water. However, only 1.2% of the water on earth is drinkable. As we continue to consume freshwater, studies estimate that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will not have drinking water. This is a crisis that can be resolved by green technology through innovations such as SunSpring Hybrid (technology that filters dirty water and turns it into safe drinking water).
This technology, SunSpring Hybrid, can turn more than 20,000 liters of unclean water from wells and rivers into drinkable water every day. This device also works with solar panels, meaning that it can work even in rural areas that lack electricity. Hence, the technology is valuable for communities residing close to water bodies or communities affected by natural disasters.
Climate change and an increase in water usage make the lack of clean water an issue that must be addressed immediately before it becomes too late. This is one of the perks of green technology.
Green behavior to match green tech.
Even as green tech continues to grow and take over different sectors, one thing that can limit it is human behavior. Green technology is only as effective as we are willing to apply it. This brings to light the importance of having green behavior. We all must start to make conscious decisions towards protecting the environment. This will reflect in our actions and in our way of life.
If we start to take cognizance of the volume of energy that we consume daily and the amount of waste that we produce, we are going to make adjustments and change our behavior to reduce them. The problem is that many of us do not pay attention to these things.
Surprisingly, a significant amount is invested into creating more green new technology focusing on energy efficiency, like standards for vehicle mileage, power generation, etc. However, an essential factor is left out of consideration – which is the users. The effort to combat climate change and minimize waste must leverage the use of automation to drive decisions while also considering human tendencies. This will help to compel us to limit our collective and individual carbon footprints.
The rebound effect
It is a fact that we tend to choose an energy-efficient option when we have the chance to, whether it is in the car we are driving, the food we are eating, or even the lightbulbs that we install at home. However, even though we have good intentions, all of these processes can be negated by the rebound effect, which has become a common phenomenon.
This phenomenon, called the rebound effect, or take-back effect, refers to a situation where the positives of an environment-conscious decision that a person makes are offset, partially or entirely, by the person’s behavior. For instance, a household that uses energy-saving bulbs may be less mindful about turning the light off because the bulbs are energy efficient. Similarly, a person who drives a hybrid car is unlikely to pay much attention to their energy consumption, the routes they are driving, how much fuel is consumed, etc. They think that by driving the vehicle, they are already efficient.
The tendency to undergo this rebound effect phenomenon is natural for humans. For instance, you probably have taken a cookie immediately after a run at some point. It’s natural. This is why it is essential to understand these human behavioral tendencies and consider them to design new green technologies. This will help to inform people about their consumption level and how important it is.
Deployment of automotive systems for monitoring and recording waste production and energy usage is another way to approach this. An Indian Subaru plant has now become the first US-based manufacturing facility to have a zero-landfill status. They did this by turning all their waste into electricity or recycling it. With their meticulous approach to waste tracking and keeping tabs on the volume of waste that each of their assembly stations produces, the plant's workers were able to learn about what they needed to do to be distinct. The data they gathered helped them find ways to reduce their waste and save them millions of dollars.
The move to green tech has started, and many individuals, organizations, and industries buy into it. Green-tech can reverse many of the adverse effects that our activities have caused to the ecosystem. It has become even more essential that government, communities, and organizations make continuous efforts to ensure that green technologies are implemented on a larger scale. This will make the technology more accessible to people. It will be easier to use and will have a more significant, long-term impact on the environment.
However, as green technology continues to grow and become more commonplace, it is essential that we also involve green behavior in our lifestyle. To do this, we must leverage automation as this will make green technology more effective. The use of automated decision aids, for instance, may inform users intelligently about their approach to decision making and how to make choices. This will be very effective in combating the problem of the climate crisis. For instance, a car can set goals for the user based on their fuel usage and mileage. Comparing this to previous consumption records will affect the user behavior.
Similarly, manufacturers can incentivize and provide incentives for their workers to limit their waste products will have a very significant impact. Technologies like this place humans in the middle of the plot and play an essential role in helping the planet.
Everyone certainly has a role to play in the use and effectiveness of green technologies. We must all be willing to play our part and do even more for this technology to be fully effective. However, we may also need more information and an interface to do this, which this technology has to provide.