Environmental technology is among the trending topics of the world and in fact, technology has many benefits to the environment. Some people believe that technology has been hurting the environment for many years, but thanks to various forms of tech, the world is now changing into a better place little by little. From reducing the amount of paper waste to helping animals, the environment has started embracing technology. This is how technology is helping the environment.
Improving the quality of air
Some cities are working hard to ensure that people are breathing cleaner air. The approaches vary widely. Chicago has started implementing a sensor network that covers the whole city to allow easier making of decisions based on the available real-time data. And in Pittsburgh, officials and citizens are able to quantify and monitor the pollution events using high-tech cameras.
Louisville has established a tool that facilitates gathering of data literally into the citizens’ hands with inhalers that forward information to them. The approaches rely on new technological devices like cameras, sensors and GPS to improve the quality of air.
Agriculture, biofuels and energy
As people clear more land for shopping malls, homes and businesses, space for traditional agriculture has highly reduced. Agricultural technology advancement has led to the development of numerous things, including the genetically designed foods and robotic farming. Possibly, you have already noticed these impressive advancements:
Sensors and satellite imagery are helping farmers understand their fields in a better way and optimize their returns while preserving the natural resources in a better way.
With people using skyscrapers as storied greenhouses, production of crops is now happening throughout the year – including in the urban areas where the traditional farms are inexistent.
Robotic farming involves robots that can handle various jobs in a farm. They can plant, weed, monitor, and predict the changes on a land.
The technology, livestock biometrics, allows farmers to get and keep real-time data of all their animals.
Even though we are yet to observe the benefits of some advancement, they might become the mainstream within ten years or less – most advances are in the testing phases. With efficient agriculture, the strain on livestock and land is less.
Most recognized and important eco-friendly technological advancements we have observed in the recent years are in the sector of clean energy. The renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power are now more widespread and cheaper.
Technological improvements have also made the renewables more efficient. Some products like the solar panels from Tesla, which resemble the regular roofing tiles, are more appealing and accessible to the consumers.
Environmental laws change from country to country and from one location to the other. Again, not everyone will follow these laws. If you are among the many people who do not follow them, you had better start observing them. With remote monitoring, the environment will benefit highly. A quick example, in places where poaching has been prevailing, government agencies are using drones to monitor the affected areas and to offer real-time videos to the officials.
Sensors come in handy when it comes to measuring the level of air pollution around companies – gas facilities – to ensure that they are meeting all the regulations. Even more, with remote monitoring, law enforcement agencies can easily identify any law breakage without covering thousands of acres of land or businesses.
The sharing economy
Sharing economy is another more recent development and it is reducing environmental impacts by allowing people to buy lesser and use fewer materials. Some companies like Uber have made it easier for people to move around their location without having to own a vehicle. Airbnb is helping travellers and homeowners benefit from the spaces that others are not using. That consolidates the resources and areas needed for more efficient traveling. Some services like Netflix, which allow online streaming of videos, have minimized DVD rentals. They have therefore reduced the need of transporting, postage of such items and recopying of physical movies.
Self-driving electric cars
Electric cars do not rely on fuel – they rely on rechargeable batteries like those you use on your smartphone. The cars are more energy efficient, thanks to technology. They are able to convert nearly 62-percent of the battery charge to power their wheels, unlike the traditional vehicles, which use only 21-percent of the energy they consume to power wheels. In other words, self-driving electric cars are over 3X more energy efficient than the traditional vehicles. Along with renewable energy sources, self-driving electric vehicles benefit the environment in a significant way.
Smart home devices are seemingly more convenient, but are a great example of how environmental technology has highly benefited the globe. Smart thermostats, for example, adjust temperatures to prevent heat or air from running when you are away from your home. That alone helps save more energy. An app that allows people to switch off their lights remotely – each time they forget to do that – is another good example of the technology that is helping us conserve energy.
Smarter homes are not only about convenience, they are about saving the environment by addition of little tech. Some people might think that technology is more about the most recent smartphones in the market, but it is also helping make the environment better and save it for the future generations. Actually, use of smartphones is among the methods of paper use reduction and remaining in contact with family and friends without travelling for many miles.
Drones to combat deforestation
Each year, people cut around 15-billion trees to make room for agriculture, logging, mining and urban sprawl. Mass deforestation has played a huge role in global warming and threatened the survival of many species. Even though most organizations, nations and individuals have tried to fight deforestation, they have not managed to plant enough trees to catch up with the loss. Luckily, some innovative entrepreneurs have developed more high-tech solution – use of drones to fight deforestation.
BioCarbon Engineering (BCE), A United Kingdom based start-up company, developed a method involving drones, which will help plant over one billion trees each year. The tree-planting programs are not as straightforward as they seemingly are, but the automated new technology will help us scale realistically and quickly.