Green technology, also known as environmental technology encompasses technology and science moving hand in hand to work for the conservation of nature, where the main goal is to protect our ecosystem. GO GREEN and THINK GREEN are being used as slogans to spread awareness among every individual who can take responsibility to conserve the natural environment and resources. This is to achieve the aim to minimize and reduce the negative impact of our activities on our environment. Therefore, green technology is actually the environmentally friendly technology which makes use of new products, equipment, and services or means of energy production that prove to be less harmful to the environment than was used earlier. For example, earlier the energy was generated by the burning of fossil fuels which has resulted in depletion of fossil fuels.
Mankind has been responsible for the current alarming state of the earth and the ecosystem, so it becomes important for us to take some measures and do something for a clean environment and saving the depleting energy resources. Before it's too late, we should adopt steps to go green and support green technology to solve the problem.
It is necessary to speed up the implementation of Green technology so that it can benefit our environment and protect the mother earth and nature in a true way.
Green technology often involves some of the following:
- Recycled, recyclable material
- Biodegradable content
- Plant-based materials
- Renewable energy sources
- Multifunctionality of products and procedures
- Reduction of polluting substances
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
- Low-impact manufacturing methods
- Biodiversity conservation
How does it work?
- It promotes a healthy and improved environment and environmental conditions for all forms of life
- It makes use of innovative techniques, ideas or technology to develop an eco-friendly environment by creating environmentally friendly products for green living.
- It promotes the use of renewable energy resources that can never get depleted and which can also be used beneficially by the upcoming generations.
- It effectively uses new production and waste management procedures which are eco-friendly for sustainability of natural resources and is not harmful to the people and the environment
- It focuses on minimizing the environmental degradation.
- It ensures zero or low greenhouse gas emission
- It works on conservation of the use of energy and natural resources
Examples of green technology
- Recycling of water or waste in any manufacturing unit
- Use of LED light bulbs for the conservation of energy
- Use of flush-less toilets for efficient water conservation
- Solar panels for generating of electricity
- Wind turbines for generation of electricity
- Hydroelectric dams for generation of electricity
There have been new inventions coming up every day where individuals are coming with innovative ideas to work for a sustainable environment. Green products which are the result of green technology are environmentally friendly inventions involving energy efficiency, renewable resources, recycling, safety, and health concerns etc.
Goals of green tech
The main objective of green technology is to meet the present needs of society with keeping in mind to avoid damaging or depleting the natural resources. It has an important goal that develops strategies or procedures which works for a sustainable environment and that control and prevent further damage to the environment and health of the living being.
The goals of green technology are many but they are based on these five R’s
- Renew: This includes renewal of energy in the form of solar energy, wind energy, water energy and energy from biofuels and processes including wastewater management to retrieve energy.
- Reduce: Focusses on reducing consumption of energy, fuels, water wastage and most importantly reducing the waste.
- Recycle: Converting waste or used materials like paper, plastic, clothing, and batteries etc. into new usable forms as materials and objects.
- Refuse: It encourages to refuse the use of plastic bags and other plastic items.
- Responsibility: It should be the duty of every individual to take responsibility for not wasting electricity, water, food, and fuel.
The goals of green technology focus on sustainability, developing renewable energy and reducing source and waste. We will be talking about sustainable or green living below.
Sustainability and its principle:
It can be defined as meeting our present needs with the process of maintaining the change in the balanced environment without comprising the needs of the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. According to American ecologist and economist Herman Daly, there are three principles which define sustainability in a material:
- The rate of depletion of Nonrenewable resources should not be higher than the rate of development of its renewable substitutes.
- The rate of exploitation of renewable resources should not be higher than the rate of regeneration levels.
- The absorption and regeneration retaining the power of the natural environment should not be exceeded
It is also one of the goals of green technology that ensures the reduction of waste and pollution by changing old patterns and developing new patterns of production and consumption.
Benefits of green tech
Recycling : Green technology has helped to manage and recycle waste material which is one of the goals of it. Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into developing new usable materials. It has beneficial effects on society and the environment. It has helped in the conservation of natural resources, preventing pollution and saving energy. This technology has also been used to reduce the amount of waste through waste management, waste incineration etc. Many recyclable materials have been created to plant fertilizer, fuel, sculptures, and furniture.
Water purification: Green technology has helped in water purification with the invention of water purification systems using green chemistry concepts. With the increasing pollution, there has been the scarcity of pure drinking water and at the same time, there is a need to eliminate the use of plastic bottles and other water storing devices.
Air purification: Zero or low Greenhouse gas emission or carbon emission is another focus of green technology. These gases have been detrimental to the planet. Green technology is working towards purification of the air. It stresses the use of indoor plants which can help in air purification allowing living beings to breathe properly. Plantation drives are carried out to plant more and more trees that can bring about a big change in the environment.
Conserving Energy: Energy conservation is being achieved with this technology. New devices are coming up as an alternative to the ones that use a lump sum electricity or fuel. The use of electric cars is rising. People are encouraged to use environment-friendly devices and appliances as solar panels to minimize energy loss.
Rejuvenating Ecosystems: Green technology is being used to get the ecosystems back into life from the effects of damage by humans. Plantation drives are being carried out to plant enough trees to maintain the ecosystem. Waste management is being carried out at large along with recycling of waste materials to make the ecosystem a better place for all living beings to survive.
Types of green technology
Green chemistry: also known as sustainable chemistry can be defined as the inventing and application of new chemical products or processes to reduce or actually eliminate the use of hazardous substances. Its principle involves safer products, solvents, chemical and reaction conditions, prevention of waste and increased energy efficiency.
Green Nanotechnology: It is the use of nanotechnology to develop clean technology to increase the environmental sustainability of nanotechnology products and processes producing negative externalities.
Examples: Development of nanotechnology in solar cells covered with photovoltaic (PV) coatings.
Green building: It is the practicing of developing structures that are environmentally responsible and resource efficient with an increase in efficiency of use of energy, material and water by building throughout its design, construction, maintenance, operation, and renovation. This involves the use of bamboo flooring, woven wool for carpeting, ecological concrete mixture, and less volatile organic paints.
Examples: Manama – integrates wind turbines into the design.
National Library Singapore- landscaping and rooftop gardens, use of rain sensors
Residence Antilia, Mumbai, India- rooftop gardens
Green information technology: Also known as green computing, is a sustainable approach towards the study and practice of environment-friendly computing and computer resources in an efficient and environmentally responsible way.
Green energy: This is the energy that comes from natural sources like wind, sunlight, rain, sea and ocean tides, geothermal heat and the algae. Green energy as the name suggests is the eco-friendly form of energy that is renewable.
Examples: solar road in the Netherlands, solar guru 1107phone by Samsung.
Advantages of green tech
- There are no harmful emissions into the air.
- Provides economic benefits to specific areas.
- less maintenance cost
- Renewable products are achieved.
- Reduce the global warming effects by reducing CO2 Emissions.
Disadvantages of green tech
- High implementation costs.
- Lack of information and awareness.
- The absence of alternative chemical or raw materials
- Unknown alternative process technology
- Not sure of performance impacts
- Lack of human resources and skills.
Go Green – take an initiative towards Green living
Reduce your consumption, your waste, and your energy consumption. Less consumption leads to less production of waste.
Ways to reduce less waste:
- Print and copy as less as you can. To reduce the paper use, try printing double-sided.
- Make use of e-mail to reduce or minimize the use of paper.
- Send and store documents electronically instead of using paper.
- Circulate a single document to everyone instead of making an individual copy for all.
- Change the default margins 1.25 inches to 0.75 inches on your Word documents which will reduce the amount of paper used by almost 5 percent.
Ways to reduce your energy consumption:
- Turn off lights when not needed or when not used.
- Make effective use of natural lighting instead of electric lighting during day time.
- Use cold water to wash clothes.
- Keep the windows and doors closed in heated and air-conditioned rooms.
- Turn off computers, printers, and other electrical devices when not in use.
- Stop the use of screen savers and try to enable power management features.
- Ensure to purchase only energy-efficient products.
- Leave space between the refrigerator and wall as this increases the air circulation around the condenser coils and the fridge operates more efficiently.
Ways to reduce oil consumption and pollution:
- Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle and that uses less fuel per mile.
- Keep your car parked under the shade as it lowers the temperature in your gas tank to about 7 degrees and therefore reduces the evaporation of fuel from the fuel tank.
- Switch to the more eco-friendly way by using a bicycle for near places or make use of electric cars and bikes.
REUSE things effectively and innovatively for various purposes like plastic containers can be used for food storage, paper can be used as a wrapping paper. Try using:
- Reuse postal envelopes by replacing an old label with the new label.
- Use scrap papers for printing drafts or unofficial documents.
- Use reusable bags or products. Try using jute or canvas bags.
Buy products only that are RECYCLABLE
Green tech innovations
- Worn Again Technologies headquartered in London – are developing a chemical process to turn used polyester materials and cotton clothing, also PET plastic bottles and packaging, back into raw materials.
- Major companies as Dell and Google are taking important steps towards eco-friendly technology in projects that range from plant-based packaging to vast wind farms.
Dell has announced to use a new sustainable packing strategy involving mushrooms to create product cushioning for shipment. Mushroom-based packaging is a green tech product that is biodegradable and makes it a product of green initiative than commonly used Styrofoam and polyethylene.
Development of highly efficient LED lights
- Agilyx is working on technology to turn plastic trash into synthetic crude oil, and flexible thin-film solar modules which are one step closer in making a wider range of solar energy applications.
- Companies like Starbucks and Whole Foods are also employing green technology practices.
- Tesla Motors and Solar City are into producing or installing green technologies such as electric vehicles and photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.
- GBatteries have been developed to recharge cars in the same time it takes for fueling the vehicle.
The Earth has got depleted of natural resources and it seriously needs protection and green technology has taken an initiative in providing exactly that to the planet by conservation of natural resources and their sustainability for sustainable green living.