Green technology became more popular in recent years. It’s a shift towards practices that help conserve natural resources and sustain the environment. This movement takes into account the impacts of human activities. How will these activities affect life in the short term and long term as well?
Different technologies have the potential to change the environment. Some of them are in the research and development stage, while others are in place. However, the latter are still finding their feet in society. One thing is constant – all these developments are promising solutions to control the problems in society.
What Is Green Technology?
Green technology is a term that refers to the application of technology to create a sustainable environment. Environmental technology or clean technology are other terms people use in place of it. Conserving natural resources and decreasing the negative impacts of humans are core in this field.
Green technology is growing, and various sectors are gearing towards environmentalism.
As a result of this trend, people are more aware of their actions on the environment. For instance, there’s an increase in discussions about global warming, pollution, and renewable energy.
Green cloud technologies or computing is also reducing plastic and paper usage. From simple actions like recycling to more complex developments, this field is encompassing.
Challenges of Green Technology
A lot of industries understand what green technology is and its impact on our society. For that reason, there’s a growth in developing environment-friendly products. Green powered technologies and products are increasing from different industries.
However, this growth in green technology also brings with it the issue of cost. For instance, the price of implementation for some of these technologies is high. Also, most persons have no idea what “green” actually means. Many industries use green tech as a marketing strategy to appeal to customers. Because people are not aware, they buy these products without knowing how they promote a healthy environment.
Understanding the Technology
Green technology aims at the use of science and technology to develop environmentally-safe products and services. These products and services protect the environment and preserve natural resources.
This industry is growing and attracting investors who want to support green technology. Some companies include the use of green tech as a goal in their mission statement. These companies are often more open to investment capital and funds.
Although green technology became popular in recent years, the idea was around even in the 19th century. Then, different manufacturers came up with ways to reduce the production of waste and by-products.
10 Examples of Green Technology
The use of green technology is one of the ways to combat the effects of global warming. These effects are visible, including higher temperatures and rising sea levels.
To prevent global warming, individuals and the government need to take action.
Here are some green technology examples that help in protecting the environment:
Some developments help remove pollutants from water and make it safe for use again. Sewages from home and industries are a threat to water resources. With the increase in population and industrialization, water contamination continues to be a challenge. Water contamination can lead to the scarcity of water. So, these innovative techniques aim to renew water for human consumption and other purposes.
These developments involve different processes that remove or break down these contaminants, such as heavy metals. Some of them are membrane filtration, microbial fuel cells, nanotechnology, and natural treatment systems. An example of a biological treatment system is wetlands.
Control and Elimination of Industrial Emissions
Eliminating these industrial emissions will help control pollution. One of the contributions to global warming is carbon dioxide emissions from industries. Carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, ozone, and methane are harmful greenhouse gases.
They pose a threat to the environment and the health of humans. The control and management of these air pollutants can reduce the greenhouse effect.
Major industries like automotive, petroleum refineries, chemical, and pharmaceuticals must work towards eliminating these gases. There are air treatment systems that destroy these emissions to prevent environmental damage. These technological systems also remove volatile organic compounds.
Recycling and Waste Management
The use of green technology in recycling objects like paper, glass, plastic, metal is growing. This technology also aids in recycling waste from production processes and human activities. An increase in waste from homes and factories leads to harmful effects on health and the environment. But, with effective waste management and recycling technologies, the adverse effects of waste are reversed.
Some innovative solutions for waste management include smart bins and containers and a food waste tracking system. These systems are automated and have sensors to monitor when waste needs recycling services. Others are optical scanning technologies that can help sort mixed plastics. Green mountain technologies design affordable composting systems.
There are wave energy management plants that can supply electricity. This type of electricity generation is ocean-based and renewable. Wave energy uses the power of waves and converts their movement into electrical energy. The first wave energy management plant is at Agucadoura Wave Park, in Portugal. This plant supplies electricity to about 1500 Portuguese homes and has a 2.25MW capacity.
Wave energy is not dependent on fossil fuel, and this reduces the reliance on non-renewable resources. That way, there’s a reduction in the emission that comes from burning fossil fuels. Also, wave energy doesn’t affect aquatic animals.
Self-sufficient buildings or houses do not need any external connections to function. For instance, they don’t have links to any external energy networks. These buildings can generate energy within the environment. Green energy technologies make this possible. By installing intelligent solar tracking systems, these structures optimize the use of solar panels. Thus, they enhance the use of radiation in producing electricity.
Aside from being energy-sufficient, these buildings are also cost-effective. Another benefit of using renewable energy sources is the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Fossil fuels, in contrast to renewable energy, generate greenhouse gases, which lead to air pollution.
Energy-from-Waste, also called Waste-to-Energy, is a technology that generates energy from the treatment of waste. This process generates energy in the form of heat or electricity. Burning these wastes makes waste management efficient. It reduces the amount of waste in landfills too. In contrast to landfills, waste-to-energy doesn’t produce methane gas.
Waste incineration systems treat municipal solid waste. Industries can install them for the treatment of refining residues. Hazardous waste and incombustible materials like metals and glass too. Energy-from-waste technology solves two problems at the same time. First, it generates energy from incineration and also helps in waste management.
The transport industry contributes to a high amount of pollution in many countries. Gas vehicles produce the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, and other harmful gases. But with ecological transportation, there’s no gas emission. Therefore, the use of these vehicles has no negative impact on the environment. The presence of gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and other polluting gases reduces.
Thanks to technology, there are eco-friendly vehicles. The sales of cars that use alternative fuels are growing. There are more electric car users around than ever before. As a result, they prevent further damage to the environment.
Harnessing Solar Energy
Green solar technologies are one of the most-explored systems in green tech. Different technologies can harness solar energy to produce light and heat. Some of them are photovoltaic panels, solar heating systems, polypropylene solar collectors, and so on. Solar energy is an abundant and clean resource. Many devices like solar collectors can help concentrate this energy and use it as a heat source. Photovoltaic collectors generate electricity for household appliances and solar street lights.
All these solar technologies help reduce the use of fossil fuels in generating energy. Hence, capturing solar energy to produce electricity, steam, or hot water promotes a healthy environment.
Vertical gardens and farms have many benefits and can help save energy. The mode of installation for these gardens also supports water conservation. It uses less water than traditional farming methods. Crops in a vertical farm are resistant to adverse weather conditions and some pollution. In vertical farming, there’s increased productivity with minimum land. The amount of farmland in use also reduces, hence saving natural resources.
The idea of vertical farming is to produce more organic crops and meet demand. With the use of technology, there’s control over factors like humidity and temperature. Thus, these crops are healthier and more nutritious.
Natural Gas Boilers
Another area of green technology is the use of green boilers. These boilers work in a way that consumes little fuel or no fuel by using renewable energy. Natural gas is a fossil fuel; however, it doesn’t release as many harmful gases and waste.
It doesn’t emit gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, or sulfur. Though it still releases carbon dioxide, it is less, with more water vapor.
Therefore, the use of natural gases is a more eco-friendly way of using fossil fuels. They are also more efficient and helps save heating costs.
The use of science and technology innovations provides one of the ways to create a safer environment. Individuals and companies alike are more mindful of their activities. There’s also a rise in green companies across different sectors. Companies like green earth technologies and others use renewable materials in production.
The government is also working towards establishing a healthier environment by promoting green projects. Though there’s still much to do in protecting the environment, some significant innovations are in place. Developments like wastewater treatment, recycling, solar energy, and electric vehicles are only but a few.