Environment

7 Major Ways Technology is Helping Lower Our Impact on the Environment

Jul 13 2020 By Mike Johnston

Technology is reshaping our future in many ways, from how we live and work, to how we communicate. Novel innovations can do much more in helping us live greener and lower our impact on the environment. 

With plastic pollution choking the oceans, increased deforestation, and climbing temperatures, just to name a few, it is more important than ever to act quickly and harness tech solutions to make our planet healthier and a sustainable place for humans and other species. Let’s explore seven major ways technology is helping the environment. 

Reducing the need to cut down trees

It takes 5 liters of water to create a single piece of A4 paper, an amount that could be invaluable to many disadvantaged and suffering communities. Adopting digital contracts and electronic signature software is necessary if we consider that 50% of waste businesses generate is composed of paper. Technology has provided us with an alternative to pen and paper communication and an alternative to printed materials. 

Apps, invoices, newsletters, and other digital forms of communication are reducing the need for paperwork and cutting down trees. Going paperless will save businesses money, but companies can benefit from going green by improving their reputation too.

Homes are becoming more eco-friendly

More and more homes worldwide are becoming “smarter,” and adopting devices like smart thermostats, smart meters, and motion-activated lighting sensors. Heating and cooling systems waste a substantial amount of energy, and today you can regulate the temperature in your home through your phone. Smart home tech can also help you minimize the amount of electricity your household consumes through regulating appliances and lighting.

Revolutionizing environmental monitoring

Novel technologies and innovative products are being used to strengthen the enforcement of environmental laws. From monitoring air quality to patrolling poacher exclusion zones, there are many technological applications in protecting the environment. 

Groundbreaking tech can put a stop to criminal networks that are driving endangered species towards extinction. PAWS is the system developed to catch poachers by predicting their likely hotspots and directing patrols to remove traps before harming any animal.

Refining oil and gas industry 

Upgrading processes for extraction, supply, and usage of natural resources like oil and gas can make them more sustainable and prevent any issues from equipment malfunctioning to major catastrophes. Tech solutions have enormous potential when it comes to addressing the industry’s environmental challenges.

Oil and gas companies are deploying new technologies like automated drilling and logistics improvement to increase industrial safety. Usage of industry-leading products like top quality oilfield equipment is another way to modernize oil companies and move them into a new era of efficiency and improved security. 

Meat substitutes’ impact on the environment 

The livestock industry has a huge carbon footprint, and even more – it uses vast amounts of freshwater and pollutes local waterways. It is also the leading cause of the mass extinction of wildlife. The development of plant-based meat replacements is helping the environment and also helping people eat healthier. And they taste great! Beyond meat is one of the most recognized brands that produce delicious plant-based burgers, sausage, crumbles, and more, that look and taste like meat.

The emergence of plant-based plastics 

With eighteen billion pounds of plastic flowing into the ocean every year, polluting marine life, it is evident that an alternative is needed to relieve pressure on the environment. Plant-based plastic made from renewable biological sources could be the answer.

Since the demand for plastics worldwide is enormous, the production of bioplastic should become a booming sector in the years to come. Plant-based plastics are much more sustainable, and some of them are biodegradable too. 

The ocean clean up

The oceans are threatened by multiple human activities like overfishing, acidification, and, most of all: pollution. Fortunately, with some innovative tech solutions, there is room for hope. The Ocean Cleanup Project plans to remove up to 50 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in under five years. With U-shaped screens, floating plastic is trapped and transported to be recycled. The Seabin Project designed floating rubbish bins that catch garbage and oil floating in the water. Seabins capture around a half a ton of debris a year!

 

Technology innovations like these are opportunities to tackle some of the biggest threats to our planet and our species and secure a happier future for generations to come.


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