The gift of technology is a brilliant manifestation of a human’s primal instinct to survive. However, it has been well recorded that not all innovations in technology are conducive to the overall human condition. In some cases, technological advancement has proven to have fatal effects. Nuclear power plants, Petroleum power, guns, and plastics these examples are innovations to help protect, preserve, and make human life more manageable. However, they can be considered stepping stones or unfinished innovations until we get to a place where they can be perfected in every aspect and capability.
In the pursuit of easing human endeavors, some alternatives rose as an antithesis or answer to the previous helpful yet harmful innovations. Here are some ways how technology has helped in sustainability:
- Solar Power
Harnessing the sun’s power has come a long way from the primitive ways of the sundial to solar-powered electricity. This innovation has shifted companies from toxic battery-operated or oil-operated technology to a much more sustainable resource. It is the gift of the sun that’s used, which is here to stay for more than a billion years more.
- Wind Power
Windmills are another source of sustainable innovations. Instead of using electricity that would pump water throughout a farm, a windmill with the help of natural resources like wind makes water distribution much more sustainable, cheap, and efficient.
Sustainable and renewable energy through the use of water in motion. From dams, rivers, or waterfalls. Hydropower does not take much at all, and it doesn’t even cause any pollutants that may affect the living conditions of aquatic life. This type of power is natural and most effective in providing electricity for multiple cities and states.
- Geothermal Power
Steam power, this electrical source, is tapping a dormant volcano or any natural resource that emits heat or steam. The steam is harnessed to power up machinery that would eventually provide energy that is sustainable and renewable.
Light-emitting diode (LED) is one of the gifts of the modern age. It gets the most out of little energy and can have more output by using a fair amount of energy. This innovation can last longer and is much more environmentally friendly in the long run. Comparable with other light bulbs that don’t have any filter when consuming energy.
- Eco-friendly Storage
Storage is always present in human lives; owning things is having a place to store items. Storage can be most wasteful and harmful to the environment when not approached with caution or ignored. There are many ways to keep storage items much more sustainable, such as using wood instead of plastic or metal. Wood may have longevity and durability when treated.
- Carbon Capture
Carbon Capture and Storage is a mechanism that stores carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide in surplus is known to be harmful to living things and has also contributed to the greenhouse effect that carved a hole in the ozone layer. This technology has dramatically reduced the devastating impact of carbon-emitting power plants with a significant 90% efficacy. It is usually attached as a safeguard to most power plants that emit carbon dioxide.
It may be tempting to cross this off as a technology. However, it’s one of the essential technological innovations that humans have come up with. If done correctly, the technology of recycling can immensely reduce waste and help contribute to more sustainable daily living. Plastics that go through recycling can be used for different things that can replace supposed unnecessary production. There are houses made of plastic bricks, designer shoes made of plastic waste. Even the simple task of refusing straws or bringing your mug to a coffee shop can help. Though it’s more of an innovation than a technology per se, the simple technology of a personal cup or bamboo straw allows sustainable development in its little way.
- Paperless World
The primary source of paper is wood, and wood comes from trees. One of the sources of oxygen is the existence of carbon-eating leaves that are found on trees. Though most life-giving oxygen is from the ocean, trees still play an essential role in our daily lives. Biodiversity includes the living conditions of basically all living forms; this includes humans, what they eat, and where they live. Cutting trees to create paper would be counterproductive since paper, though edible, is not a viable source of energy to be consumed. The rise of digital technology has solved the paper problem with storage devices for information. People can now pay for their goods or services through virtual reloadable prepaid cards and get an automated receipt sent via email or text. A simple innovation has helped in the protection of trees, which makes it a sustainable technology.
- Electric Transportation
The new age has offered a more effective way of transportation. Most train stations are electrically powered, but electric cars are also commercially available now and have come to their full development and potential. Though electric vehicles have been around for a while, the problem was mainly on their storage capacity that affected mileage and capability. However, the dawn of a new era paved the way for innovations that enhanced the development of storage and longevity. Batteries can now store a surmountable amount of electricity and come in little packages; they’re safe and durable with longer shelf life and are user-friendly.
The idea is to have zero carbon emissions that are found on petroleum-powered machinery. Hydrogen power is a combination of Hydrogen and Oxygen. These atoms produce a chemical reaction that is more or less the same amount of power produced by battery-powered energy. Hydrogen-powered machinery is technology at par with solar, wind, or heat. It’s environmentally friendly, and though hydrogen is a tricky resource to get by with and someday maybe resolved, oxygen, on the other hand, is an abundant element whose capabilities, other than giving humans breathable air, are yet to be explored.
Technology is a cry for human survival. This can also be mentioned when it comes to sustainability. The human need to survive has manifested and displayed in the most brilliant ways possible; most are harmful and still used today. Though it’s still in its early stage, the intention is there, the need for it is clear. Sustainability is a concept that’s quite relatively revolutionary, it is a mechanism in its respect, and in a profound manner or a wild perspective and thinking, sustainability is the technological bridge that opens up or paves the way to a new, cleaner, safer, brand of technology.