Green technology, also known as environmental technology, refers to technologies designed to have no adverse effect on the environment. Certain green techs can even help reverse the carbon footprint left by humans. So how can you get involved with green technology?
Here are 7 ways to get involved with green technology:
- Purchase Green Technology Products.
- Use Green Electronics.
- Engage in Upcycling.
- Switch to Renewable Energy.
- Use an Electric Vehicle.
- Consider Green Architecture and Self-sufficient Buildings.
- Support and invest in Green Companies.
This article will go through each of these methods to get involved with green tech so you can learn how they help the environment and what you need to do to get started.
Remember, the environment is not a political party or agenda. Taking care of the environment is no different than cleaning your house or apartment, and it is for our children and grandchildren.
Do your research:
1. Purchase Green Technology Products
What is a Green Technology product? In our article “What Is Green Technology?” we address the question:
“Green Technology is any technology that does not injure or impact the earth’s environment through the process of supply, manufacturing, use, and disposal.”Tech Evaluate-What Is Green Technology?
We can vote for change with our money and how we spend it. If you purchase green product technology, you are further supporting innovation for products that help our planet and your family.
Green products are going through a renaissance of innovation and trial and error. As scientists, inventors, engineers, and companies try to come up with innovative products that are friendly to the environment and our planet.
The balance between creating products that are not only profitable for the company but actually do not hurt the environment through manufacturing and acquisition of the raw materials to create these inventions.
2. Use Green Electronics
In our article “What Are Green Electronics?” we discuss how Electronics utilize materials in their manufacturing that are Environmentally and Eco-Friendly, Biodegradable, Recyclable, Sustainable, and do not add to or exacerbate the global dilemma of E-Waste.
Almost all people in the world today utilize electronic devices in their daily lives. Humans are also discarding broken or obsolete electronic devices (WEEE) and waste electrical and electronic equipment at an alarming rate. It is estimated that Electronic waste now makes up 5 percent of all municipal solid waste worldwide.
Green Electronics are designed to minimize energy use and have less of an impact on the environment. They also feature materials and use manufacturing processes that are less energy-intensive and use renewable and natural materials.
Look for Green Electronic certifications and Eco Labels like the Energy Star and EPEAT Registry labels, which notify you that these electronics are more energy-efficient or with EPEAT are registered products going through an ongoing surveillance process known as Continuous Monitoring.
Some examples of Green Electronics mostly available on Amazon are:
- Energy-efficient appliances like a solar refrigerator.
- Learning Thermostats
- Apple products from computers to smartphones.
- Energy Efficient LED or OLED TVs.
- Smart Electrical Sockets.
- LED Light Fixtures and Bulbs
- Solar Panels
3. Engage in Upcycling
If you are concerned about the environment, you are likely already engaged in recycling your old belongings. Well, upcycling is a greener form of recycling and something that’s gaining a lot of attention.
In recycling, old products/objects are broken down using an industrial process to create new materials from which new products/objects are manufactured. For example, textbooks get recycled to create paper which then gets used to make new notebooks.
In contrast, upcycling takes a product/object that would otherwise be thrown away as waste and “creatively” uses it to make a new product/object. An example of upcycling would be transforming an old plastic bottle into a plant pot or a watering can.
So, what makes upcycling better or more eco-friendly than recycling?
When you’re recycling a product, it goes through an industrial process where it’s broken down, leading to some carbon emissions. However, with upcycling, you’re creatively repurposing the old and used product to create something new that barely has any carbon footprint at all.
As you can see, upcycling is simple, eco-friendly, and accessible – something anyone can do by themselves starting today. This makes upcycling the perfect place to start for anyone interested in green technology.
First of all, upcycling will have you actively creating new “technology” by repurposing your old things and not throwing them away. On top of that, this process will help you understand the importance of reducing waste and limiting unnecessary purchases, which will help towards a greener future.
To help you get started with upcycling, here are 101 upcycling ideas you can try out.
4. Switch to Renewable Energy
Most green technologies today are concerned with producing and storing renewable energy.
Now, you must already be familiar with solar panels and how you can install them in your home as a renewable and sustainable energy source for your day-to-day electrical requirements. However, one of its problems is that if it gets cloudy for a day or two, you’ll be left with no power and have to resort back to your power grid and draw fossil-fuel-produced electricity.
To tackle this problem, companies are coming out with better renewable energy storage devices/batteries that are compact and cheaper for mass adoption. Projects like Malta and Aquion Energy are currently working on large-scale solutions for the long-term storage of renewable energy.
That said, these technologies will take some time before they are fully developed and ready for mass adoption. Until then, you can try using the available renewable energy storage devices to further, reduce your reliance on traditional power sources.
You can also look into other renewable energy sources for your home. For instance, some companies are currently experimenting with turning waste into usable energy. You can try doing this in your home using HERU’s innovative waste-to-energy technology.
Overall, the goal is to educate yourself on ways to augment your current energy consumption with greener and cleaner sources. And while doing this, gradually limit your reliance on fossil-fuel-based electricity produced and delivered by almost all the power grids.
5. Use an Electric Vehicle
If you have already started using green energy sources for your electrical needs, it’s time to start using electric energy instead of oil to power your car/vehicle.
Moving away from traditional cars to electric vehicles (EVs) will help you drastically reduce your carbon footprint as EVs enjoy almost zero emissions. EVs are also cheaper in the long run compared to conventional vehicles.
The upfront cost of electric cars and trucks is more than conventional vehicles. However, you’ll save a lot of money using an electric vehicle, thanks to the low fuel cost. Also, more EV charging stations are popping up along the roads making EVs a practical option for long-distance travel.
Some scientists are working on wireless technology to help charge EVs. For example, South Korea is augmenting its roads with underground cables to create electromagnetic fields that can wirelessly charge an EV while moving on the road.
There are also new designs in battery technology and the materials they use in an ever-evolving industry. As this kind of technology becomes easily scalable and sees widespread adoption, EVs will become the future of locomotion and transportation.
6. Consider Green Architecture and Self-Sufficient Buildings
Did you know that the construction of traditional buildings is responsible for 38% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide? The way traditional buildings are designed, they release a lot of greenhouse gasses throughout their lifetime for heating and cooling necessities.
So as you can see, the traditional way of constructing residential or commercial spaces isn’t ecologically sustainable and needs a massive overhaul.
This is where green architecture and self-sufficient buildings come into the picture. Green architecture refers to a philosophy in architectural design that encourages the reuse of building materials to reduce its overall carbon footprint.
You’ll often find these buildings made using hemp, bamboo, and other eco-friendly materials. Green architecture also heavily emphasizes the location of the construction to minimize environmental impact as much as possible.
Self-sufficient buildings refer to buildings that can sustain their energy requirements by themselves and don’t need to use external sources. This is done by using the following techniques:
- Installing automation systems to reduce the overall energy requirement
- Using construction materials to enable better insulation and limit heat loss
- Incorporating better design to maximize natural cooling through outside airflow if and when necessary
- Leveraging solar panels combined with a large solar battery
- Harvesting rainwater and reusing it
- Using outdoor composite boxes
Currently, companies worldwide are working to make “green” housing a reality for eco-conscious citizens. For reference, here’s a 5-min YouTube video showcasing NODE – a startup that’s making DIY carbon-negative homes that are shipped in a box:
7. Support and Invest in Green Companies
So, you are upcycling, using renewable energy, driving an electric car, and living inside a self-sustainable eco-friendly home – what more can you do to support green technology?
Well, you can consider investing in green companies!
At the end of the day, a single human being does not have as big of an impact on the environment as large-scale companies.
Here’s a great 16-min YouTube addressing the question – can you fix climate change?:
Spoiler alert – no, you can’t do it alone, but you can do your part. As we discussed earlier, you can also contribute with the way you spend your money and invest. You do not have to support companies that operate their giga-factories and release millions of metric tons of waste into the environment daily.
You also do not need to support companies with unsustainable farming practices or water waste. You can change this by not supporting companies that are not ecologically compliant.
Stop using products manufactured by a company that leaves a large carbon footprint. Switch to an alternative product from competitors that pride themselves on eco-friendly operations.
Also, even if you don’t buy many products, you can still support green companies by investing in them.
We could not cover the topic of Green Technology and being friendly to the environment without talking about waste. We already discussed upcycling some of the issues with recycling. We also want to talk about some solid waste, landfill facts, and what you need to know.
An excellent article, “How Much Do We Waste? A Data-Driven Guide to Waste and Landfills,” it discusses many incredible facts like the following:
- Where Does Our Waste Go? Typically a landfill or recycling.
- In 1960, 94% of the generated waste was landfilled. In 2018, this percentage decreased significantly to 50%.
- Annually, 2.12 billion tons of waste are produced across the world.
- By 2050, it is expected that global waste will grow to 3.40 billion. This is more than twice the population growth during the same time period.
- Globally, more than 50 million metric tons of electronic waste were generated in 2019. This is expected to rise by a further 20 million metric tons over the coming decade.
- At present, only about 20% of electronic waste is recycled on a global scale.
- 91% of plastic still isn’t recycled.
- 25 million plastic bottles are thrown away each hour in America.
- It is estimated that the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.
These are some pretty sobering statistics. This article also discusses “Can my business make money by recycling?” and the answer is yes; we recommend you read this article.
Purchasing and using green technology products, green electronics, and participating in upcycling is the simplest way to get involved with green technology. And while you’re at it, you can also try switching to renewable energy wherever possible. If you want to get even more involved with green tech, you can buy an electric car and consider living in a self-sustainable house.
To further contribute to and support green technology, you can consider investing in green companies that are ecologically compliant and working towards creating sustainable and eco-friendly solutions for a better future.
We can do our part for clean oceans and drinking water and contribute to cleaning up the planet. Each of these items listed is something anyone can do by themselves starting today.
- Greenly: Everything you need to know about green technology in 2022
- Investopedia: Investing in Green Technology
- Climate CoLab: LOW CARBON BUILDING
- X.Company: Malta – X, the moonshot factory
- Aquion Energy: Energy storage, clean and simple.
- Vox: Renewable energy: getting to 100% requires cheap energy storage
- The World Bank: Circular Economy Approaches in Solid Waste Management
- Paguro Upcycle: 101 Easy Upcycling Ideas: The Ultimate List for 2021
- Beta site for NSF – National Science Foundation: Soaking up the sun: Artificial photosynthesis promises a clean, sustainable source of energy
- NYTimes: How Green Are Electric Vehicles?
- Fast Company: Buying an electric car will save you money in the long run
- CNBC: Are electric cars ‘green’? The answer is yes, but it’s complicated
- YouTube: This Carbon-Negative Dream House Ships In A Box
- GR8 Energy: What Is A Green Company?
- YouTube: Can YOU Fix Climate Change?
- Britannica: green architecture
- IEEE Smart Grid: Steps toward Smart Energy Self-Sufficient Buildings
- HERU: A World-First Global Solution
- ExtremeTech: World’s first road-powered electric vehicle network switches on in South Korea
- Energy Star
- About EPEAT
- How Much Do We Waste? A Data-Driven Guide to Waste and Landfills
- Environment – Apple
- Purchasing Energy-Efficient Televisions
- LCD vs. OLED: TV display technologies compared – CNET
- Identifying Greener Electronics | US EPA