Today, we humans are contending with countless factors that are hindering the path towards environmental sustainability. While the struggles are authentic and apparent, there have also been plenty of efforts to combat climate change and other ecological roadblocks.
Technology plays a vital role in realizing these hopes of a greener future. In fact, many of these technologies already exist, and we are already making use of them today.
Eco-friendly and sustainable technologies pervade our lives in more ways than we think they do. They help us go through our day-to-day routines more efficiently while also protecting the planet we live on.
Five Eco-friendly Technologies We Use Daily
These everyday tools that we use regularly are opening up the path for sustainability. How many of these have you already adopted in your daily living?
1. Community Apps
Every person begins somewhere in making a difference for the environment. Community-building platforms allow individuals to come together online to learn more about the environment and the little initiatives that people are practicing to live more sustainably.
In a time of physical distancing, community apps are perfect for engaging fellow advocates and new people to encourage them to get involved. These channels allow people to share their thoughts in unique ways. The variety of content allowed in the online space makes much room for creative ways to inform, engage, and make a sustainable change in local communities.
2. Cloud Computing Services
Yes, cloud computing is also helping us save the planet. As more and more businesses are taking the road towards automation and the digitization of their operations, going paperless is much more achievable than it used to be. But while the possibility of a paperless workplace has existed for some time, offices are taking some time in adopting it.
A major factor that is keeping offices from making the transition is the hesitation to invest in potentially expensive software. The shift requires a significant amount of spending, which companies would rather use for efforts that have more upfront financial benefits.
Despite the slow uphill climb to going paperless, the pandemic helps shift winds in this direction. First, going digital during the lockdowns has revealed the capability and efficiency of businesses to go this route. COVID-19 also created a bigger demand for contactless technologies, and digitizing addresses the safety concerns involved in the use of paper in offices.
3. Solar-powered Lights
Today, solar-powered equipment is not quite the cheapest of products, but it offers a good return on investment. Solar energy is clean and renewable, harnessing free light from the sun daily to power light, heating, and other needs.
Since going solar requires a hefty sum of money, it helps make the shift little by little. The most popular place to start is using solar lighting for your outdoor light fixtures. These recharge in the daylight and brighten homes in the evening without the need for wirings and outlets.
4. Meat Analogues
The meat industry—that is, the production of chicken, pork, and beef—is responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This places it 4% higher than the contribution of transportation, which stands at 14%. Scientific American describes it in more concrete terms: the greenhouse emissions involved in producing half a pound of beef is equivalent to driving a gasoline-powered car for 9.81 miles.
Meat is undoubtedly hard to give up, especially since it is such a staple in people’s diets over the world. Thankfully, improvements in the production of meat analogues or “fake meat” have made it possible to enjoy the taste of meat while avoiding its negative effects.
Businesses specializing in plant-based “meat” have created formulas that capably compete with the unique taste of real meat. With fast-food chains and restaurants taking cues from this and beginning to include plant-based meals on their menus, fake meat can sooner become a regular part of a healthy diet.
5. Plant-based Plastics
Single-use plastics are some of the biggest pollutants that we see in our oceans today. Technology has an answer to this: biodegradable plastics. Unlike single-use bags, these are made of organic materials that decompose and are also compostable.
Many companies today have made eco-friendly packaging available for the use of businesses. There are also many varieties in use today, ranging from food containers to secure packaging for shipping needs.
Countless Possibilities for the Future
Achieving a sustainable future will take a collective effort from both individuals and businesses. With COVID-19 revealing our industrial systems’ vulnerabilities today, we hope to pursue a better future for this and the next generation.