8 Ways Technology is Helping the Environment

While climate change, population growth, and diminishing resources are hot topics right now, ideas of a cleaner future supported by environmental innovation give us reason to be optimistic about the future of our species. While the negative consequences of technology on our planet continue to worsen, so does the beneficial impact it may have. Taking advantage of this win-win situation allows us to make positive changes on our planet. This is how technology is benefiting the environment right now:

1. We use Less Energy to do Things

Using energy to power our cities has led to an increase in the efficiency of our electrical equipment throughout time. These small shifts in the way we operate our daily lives have a cascading effect over time. However, by just swapping out a single light bulb or upgrading an old washing machine, we may reduce our electricity usage.

Modern LED lights, for example, are 60 percent more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs while also lasting 50 times as long. We no longer have to produce and then dispose of additional lights. LED bulbs play a tiny but crucial role in addressing our environmental problems since they reduce waste, use fewer materials, and consume less energy.

Appliances, on the other hand, utilize 13% of residential electricity. Electric doorbells and robotic vacuums are commonplace in modern homes. With more appliances in our homes than ever before, we use less electricity than prior generations of Americans.

When compared to 20 years ago, today’s washing machines consume 25% less electricity and 75% less water. Fridges with an A+++ energy rating use 80% less energy than previous models. Also on the list are conventional power hogs such as televisions, dryers, kettles, and so on Because of the advancement of technology, we use less energy on average each year.

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2. Energy Production is Becoming Cleaner

Despite the fact that our world is getting increasingly energy-dependent as life becomes increasingly digital, the methods we use to generate energy are becoming more environmentally friendly. There’s just one obvious reason for this: renewable energy sources. Our reliance on polluting, finite energy sources is dwindling as we learn to harness the power of the sun, wind, and water. In 2017, renewable energies accounted for 25% of total world energy production; by 2050, this percentage is expected to rise to 85%.

Traditional “dirty” energy production, on the other hand, has improved in terms of cleanliness. We’ve reduced pollution in water, air, and land by cleaning up coal-fired power plants, for example. Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides have been decreased by roughly 85% even though coal power generation has increased by 75% since 1975. There is no comparison between the amount of power generated by our coal plants in the last few years and the amount that will be generated in the next few years.

In addition, nuclear reactors are currently producing less waste than in the previous generation. Because of its remarkable efficiency, nuclear energy can nearly be termed “clean” due to recent improvements in the industry. Radioactive waste (a waste product of nuclear energy production) has lately been offered as a new source of energy for the generation of electricity.

It’s no wonder that we see a cleaner, brighter future with incredible technology like nuclear fusion on the horizon. To power entire continents, we only need a few nuclear fusion reactors. Nuclear fusion would be a huge accomplishment, but it isn’t the end-all, be-all of scientific progress. Additional clean energy generation options are being investigated and developed, and humanity will soon crack the code on infinite supply.

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3. Clean Energy Systems are More Effective

We may reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and other polluting sources by using renewable energy production. For both consumers and businesses, technological developments in renewable energy systems have made them a more efficient and economically viable option. In comparison to 2006, the cost of solar electricity generation is now 73% lower.

The efficiency of solar cells has steadily increased during the last few decades. In 1960, we could only get solar cells to work at a maximum efficiency of 16 percent. Scientists in the United States recently revealed that they had achieved a 44.5 percent efficiency rate. In addition, solar cells have shrunk to the size of a sheet of paper, utilizing less material and expanding the range of possible uses.

As a result of technological advancements, a variety of other renewable resources are being created. It is now possible to generate electricity in all kinds of climates and geographical areas because to huge advances in wind and hydro energy technology. As time goes on, it’s possible that tide and wave energy may revolutionize how cities are powered and do it at minimal expense and with minimal effort.

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4. Food Production is Becoming More Eco-friendly

As we get a better understanding of how our actions affect the surrounding ecosystems, our farming methods are becoming less destructive to the environment. With current agricultural technologies, farms may produce 10 times more crops on the same area of land as they did with traditional methods in years ago.

In the future, we will be able to produce more food with less land by using genetically modified crops, which have the potential to enhance yields considerably. As a result, more natural areas will remain untouched and won’t need to be cleared for agricultural purposes.

Even the food we eat in the future is likely to alter. Even while lab-grown meat may raise some eyebrows, it is expected to become a valuable human protein source because it is cleaner and greener. This new method of raising food for our animals eliminates the need for scarce land and water and is expected to be more nutritious than conventionally raised animal meat.

Meat produced in a lab may be customized to meet our dietary needs while also eliminating potentially hazardous ingredients. Frankenstein meat is expected to replace traditional farming and ranching as the principal source of our meat supply in the future since it is more environmentally friendly and less expensive. Massive tracts of land will be freed up for habitat restoration after a period of adjustment.

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5. Recycling is Reducing Waste and Pollution

As recycling technology advances, we will be able to more effectively recycle and reuse a greater proportion of our garbage. Humans may be able to develop a closed loop system that is 100 percent recyclable in the future if we recycle the vast majority of the materials we use now. Given that the lifecycle of something as basic as a water bottle may result in resource depletion, industrial waste, air and water pollution, habitat erosion, wildlife extinction and other problems, this would be one of the most significant achievements for the world in recent history.

We have produced two additional articles on the subject of recycling, one on the benefits of recycling and the other on the advantages and downsides of recycling. These articles discuss how various strategies, such as the one described above for reducing trash, could help us save the planet.

It is important to note that the improvements in the recycling business have a multi-layered impact. In addition, as technology advances, it gets less expensive and more convenient, resulting in it becoming more economically viable to recycle rather than produce more. Overall, recycling will gradually reduce the amount of energy used and the amount of emissions produced.

Things that we are unable to recycle at this time may be able to be recycled effectively in the future. Sectors such as chemical recycling, for example, are expected to become enormously profitable in the future of the manufacturing industry. ‘Chemical digestion’ is a technique that will allow humans to decrease garbage back to its original state so that it can be utilised in more effective ways in the near future.

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6. Cities are Becoming Less Polluted

As recycling technology advances, we will be able to more effectively recycle and reuse a greater proportion of our garbage. Humans may be able to develop a closed loop system that is 100 percent recyclable in the future if we recycle the vast majority of the materials we use now. Given that the lifecycle of something as basic as a water bottle may result in resource depletion, industrial waste, air and water pollution, habitat erosion, wildlife extinction and other problems, this would be one of the most significant achievements for the world in recent history.

We have produced two additional articles on the subject of recycling, one on the benefits of recycling and the other on the advantages and downsides of recycling. These articles discuss how various strategies, such as the one described above for reducing trash, could help us save the planet.

It is important to note that the improvements in the recycling business have a multi-layered impact. In addition, as technology advances, it gets less expensive and more convenient, resulting in it becoming more economically viable to recycle rather than produce more. Overall, recycling will gradually reduce the amount of energy used and the amount of emissions produced.

Things that we are unable to recycle at this time may be able to be recycled effectively in the future. Sectors such as chemical recycling, for example, are expected to become enormously profitable in the future of the manufacturing industry. ‘Chemical digestion’ is a technique that will allow humans to decrease garbage back to its original state so that it can be utilised in more effective ways in the near future.

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7. We are Becoming More Aware of our Effect on the Planet

With each passing year, people grow increasingly conscious of the extent to which human existence has harmed the environment in which we live. Technology plays a significant role in this equation. As more people have access to information, they will be able to recognize their own role in climate change and devise strategies to mitigate it.

On a larger scale, technological advancements have also aided in the prediction and prevention of damage. For example, we can now assess our impact on air quality and track how the chemicals we create in our cities and factories influence it, which is a significant step forward. As a result of our efforts, we were able to prevent the highly destructive force of CFCs (a gas found in a variety of items such as air conditioners and refrigerators), which had caused immeasurable harm to the ozone layer over the course of the previous century.

The hole in the ozone layer caused by CFCs was only identified as a result of the discovery of the Dobson Ozone Spectrophotometer, which allowed us to comprehend the full magnitude of the damage these chemicals were causing to the environment. The following ban on CFCs has allowed the hole in the ozone layer to begin to mend, and it is expected to decrease back down to the size it was in the 1980s in the near future. It is widely regarded as one of the most significant environmental protection success stories in history.

Another technological innovation that has the potential to alter our perception of the environment is artificial intelligence (AI). Through simulations and forecasts, it may be possible to gain a greater understanding of the long-term consequences of human activities. If we are able to learn from our mistakes before we make them, we will be able to significantly lessen our influence on the environment.

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8. We can Share More Knowledge and Understanding

As our ability to connect with one another gets more advanced and effective as a result of technological advancements such as instant messaging, social networking, and mobile applications, we gain more knowledge. Essentially, we now have the ability to crowdsource our environmental information and to raise awareness of significant issues among people who are not members of our immediate family and circle of acquaintances.

In addition to knowledge sharing, we may also exchange real commodities and services that are beneficial to the environment. It is preferable to borrow something from a friend rather than purchasing something that will only be used for one day. This lessens your dependency on throw-away goods while also contributing to the conservation of vital resources. It works in the same way that sharing a taxi to a destination with two other people can reduce the amount of emissions you would have generated by 66 percent.

Apps are at the vanguard of these environmental advances, allowing us to become ever more resource efficient in our spending of our limited resources. For example, ridesharing services such as Uber have reduced our reliance on owning and fuelling individual automobiles. Airbnb has assisted us in making better use of available space in cities and towns. As a result of their efforts, Netflix and Spotify have prevented millions of tons of plastic from being produced and garbage related with DVDs and CDs. In addition, Kindle has prevented vast forests from being cleared for paper production.

We are poised to become even more effective in the future at disseminating every new idea that is put into practice. Visualize a world where your phone rings and you are immediately connected with someone who needs the item you were about to toss out, and the item is carried to them by someone who was already on his or her way to their location. Simple actions such as these have the ability to contribute to the creation of a cleaner and more efficient planet. We have the ability to reshape the earth via the use of technology and by working together.

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