Technology’s potential to positively impact the environment was underlined during the recent pandemic and nation-wide lockdown that witnessed people working virtually, minimum traffic on the roads, and reduced air pollution and overall carbon footprint. Sustainable technology or green technology are a means to deal with energy’s short-term and long-term impact on the environment.
Creation of environmentally sustainable models to support long-term economic growth require the implementation of green technologies that are capable of reducing carbon footprint. These technologies must be woven into strategic goals of existing and future enterprises. These initiatives allow for an expansion of the technological capabilities of businesses, especially the manufacturing sector, and helps them to maintain cleaner production, efficient resource management, and reduction in waste and pollution.
The Government of India is actively introducing programmes, which will ensure a clean environment for its people. In the past, India has launched programmes such as Compensatory Afforestation Programme, under which any diversion of public forests for non-forestry purposes is compensated through afforestation in degraded or non-forested areas. The government has also made strides in making people choose electric over combustible engine vehicles with tax exemption initiatives on purchase of Electric vehicles (EVs).
Let’s look at 5 Green Technologies that has the potential to create a positive impact on our environment
- Waste-Water Electricity Generator: Oregon State University engineers have invented a hybrid electricity-generator, which uses waste-water to produce electricity. They have been able to combine two distinct power generation technologies – microbial fuel cells and reverse electrodialysis. The generator has the capacity to produce enough electricity to not only power water treatment, but also send power back to the main power grid. It allows the technology to form the basis of energy created from waste, and can be scaled up to match future demands.
- Vertical Farms: Vertical farms are gaining popularity in the suburbs with its eco-friendliness. Vertical farming involves crops grown in vertical layers instead of growing them horizontally. It leads to increased sustainability, with some farms not requiring any soil input. With this eco-friendly technology, municipal bodies can build farms around cities and bring food supply closer to home, making it cheaper and affordable for locals. It will help to boost ‘eat local’ approach and reduce food imports. Some cities have even created vertical farm walls around offices to farm more and to keep office premises cooler during summer. They have also helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because there is no need to transport the farm produce over long distances.
- Biomimicry: Biomimicry is the art of designing and engineering products based on living things and animated objects. This approach allows researchers to try and find methods to build systems that uses less energy while generating more output. For instance, fabrics inspired by plant leaves, alloys and compounds that could adapt to its conditions, and self-heal. This could help with increased sustainability of products, giving them more shelf-life and durability, thereby, reducing after-waste.
- Green architecture: Green architecture has been there for more than decades now, fuelling urban cities with better sustainability. Green architecture allows constructors to build the infrastructure that is self-fuelling, i.e. using renewable sources of energy to sustain. Right from using bio-degradable or recycled materials for construction with almost zero carbon waste, using solar panels for electricity, using eco-friendly paint, availability of natural light across the infrastructure, and so on. This will allow the bodies to find optimum ways to plan cities of tomorrow and create self-sustaining homes.
- Generating energy from waves: Known as ocean energy, energy generated from tides and waves is proving to be the next big source of electricity for cities near the coast. It is said that the total ocean energy generated along the Pacific and the Indian ocean can serve more than 10-15% of the total power needs of countries near the coast. Waves are pushed with the help of buoys towards the shore near the power plants, that spin the water under high pressure to create electricity. This electricity is then pushed to the power grids and is used to power the plant, making the process even more sustainable and efficient. Since the power created is carbon-free, it will also help in containing global warming and reduce the use of fossil fuels.
Organisations must embed green initiatives into their mission to create sustainable work environments. Technology will become a key enabler in transforming global leaders into building models that support green initiatives. Green Technology is here to stay and will be a catalyst in creating a safe and clean environment for the future generation.