Green technology is a relatively new term. It is defined as a system or a mode of technology that incorporates new and innovative materials and methods to create more environmentally friendly and sustainable products. The major emphasis o green technology is to change the daily habits of society and move towards more efficient and effective ways of doing this that is environmental friendly. Basically, green technology focuses on house holds cleaning products, waste management, energy saving measures as well as long-term benefits of the changed attitudes to production and consumption (United Nations Environment Program 2006). Sustainability of green technology is key to the realization of the benefits that accrue to the adoption of green technology. Sustainability refers too the use of new technology in a way will not harm the planet and that will have long-term benefits to the human race.
The goals of green technology is to research new ways of using the natural resources without depleting them and without compromising the survival of future generations (Renée, L. 2008).One of the major goals of green technology is ensuring that products produced are re usable In the future. This is because a lot of energy is used in the production of each product that we see, if these products were re-usable, such energy would be utilized in the production of other products (Renée, L. 2008). The essential focus of green technology is the changing the production and waste management patterns. It involves the process of throwing out the old methods of production that arm the environment and bringing in new production processes and habits that produce the same or even better results but are that are beneficial to the environment and its inhabitants. Innovation is another major pillar of green technology, finding innovative and alternative technology that does not harmfully affect the environment is a key goal of this technology and is centered on innovative technology.
Energy has been the key consideration in the invention of green technology, in fact, the oldest forms of green technology were based on the invention of alternative sources of energy, and energy can thus be seen as the mother of all the subsequent inventions. Due to the non renewable nature of the most energy sources, the world had to come up with a way of supplementing its non renewable energy sources to avoid depletion of the existing sources (International Energy Agency, 2006)
Energy is a source that powers the world. Finding new sources of energy and new ways to distribute it is quite important for the future human race. Technology such as solar power, fossil fuels, and other renewable sources play a huge part in energy efficiency.
The most important breakthrough in the history of green technology is the green nanotechnology. This refers to green chemistry and green engineering to perfect the whole notion of going green New methods and procedures are thus important in ensuring sustainability of the planet earth since the methods, procedures and processes are now depleting our ozone and this has been confirmed by the recent climatic changes that include global warming. Sustainability- meeting the needs of the society in ways that continue indefinitely without damaging natural resources, or rather, meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Cradle to cradle- this means that the worlds is now geared towards the production of renewable and reusable products reducing the frequency of the cycles of production and thus saving energy and resources for future generations.
Source reduction-reducing waste and pollution by chancing the pattern of production and consumption
Viability-creating a centre of economic activity that is anchored around technology and products that benefit the environment, speeding their implementation and creating new careers that truly protect the environment.
In the olden days, due to the low levels of industrialization and a relatively low world population, the world experienced low levels of environmental degradation, low levels of pollutants and relatively few medical cases. Mark you, most of the problems that the world is experiencing today that include global warming, unpredictable climatic patterns, economic patterns and other issues are in one way or the other linked to human influence on the environment.
Inadequate food production all over the world has resulted as a result of climatic change that has reduced the productivity of our planet. Green house emissions are a major cause of climatic change as it interferes with the ozone layer.
New and proactive measures must be put in place to reduce the impacts of the past mistakes that mankind has made resulting to the currentenvronmental status. For instance, more efficient automobiles have been manufactured with the aim of reducing carbon emission and this is one of the many examples of this technology.
Green technology, as illustrated above is quite important for the sustainability of planet earth. This results from the benefits that accrue to the human race and the environment from the use of this new, effective and innovative technology. These benefits have been explained below:
There are many economic benefits that accrue from the use of green technology. Firms that have adopted any form of technology reap huge benefits from this new trend. The Midwest family mutual insurance company that has gone green with all the employees working from their homes has reported huge economic benefits. According to the companies president, the company realized at least 67%,76%,65% savings in paper, gas and power expenses. He even goes on to say that the company saved 25000 gallons of fuel with the green initiative. This was as a result of implementing a series of electronic processes and applications including imaging and work flow technology and VoIP network that allowed all its employees to work from home. The company reported that its expense ration reduced from 35.5 to 29.9% per dollar. This surely represents he cost savings that are characteristic of green technology initiatives.
Energy sources have been depleted as a result of increased energy consumption as the world becomes more industrialized forcing the world to at alternative sources of energy. By telecommuting for instance, instead of using private and or public conventional means of transport, there is great potential for energy saving through;
Office related materials and resources such as space, facilities, lighting and heating facilities etc.
Vehicle related materials such as where the company desists from using its transport means on the employees as they work from home.
Other avenues of energy conservation are the use of renewable sources of energy such as solar, fossils, wind energy among other renewable sources. Due to the nature of the present energy sources that are not only non renewable but have negative impacts on the environment like oil, the world has come up with other more efficient and renewable sources that help protect the environment (International Energy Agency 2006).
The world needs to come up with ways of preserving the environment otherwise generations to come, this planet will not be habitable. With the invention of green technology, production processes and procedures are now more efficient and causing relatively lower negative impacts on the environment. The invention of more efficient automobiles, building processes that pose little danger to the environment and humanity are just a few cases of human efforts towards preserving the environment.
Waste reduction- waste disposal is one of the major considerations that firms and especially those in the manufacturing industry experience. Take the computer manufacturing companies for instance; most of the old and unusable computers do not have a way of disposal that does not harm the environment. If I am to dispose my computer today, I have got no option but to burn it since its not biodegradable. Whichever way I dispose it, I shall be harming the environment. Science has come up with a method of waste management that is environmentally friendly. For instance, the BP oil spill posed a major health hazard to both human and marine life, china offered to use several tons of bacteria that would remove the oil from the ocean in a more environmentally friendly way; this is a perfect example of how green technology is beneficial ro the environment and mankind and should thus be promoted.
Creation of employment- as anew field, green technology has received a lot of attention in the recent past. Most organizations and nations are trying their level best not to be left behind in the new wave of environmental sustainability. Many companies have thus been on the leading edge of the green technology industry offering green technology implementation and management services, these companies create many employment opportunities to Information technology specialist.
Green technology if founded on the premise of efficiency and effectiveness in production and consumption. It is also centered on change of attitude to the way we do things. By adopting green technology measures, the world will attain sustainable development with long-term benefits that will also accrue to the future generations.
Examples of green technology
There are many examples of green technology that have been implemented at both household, corporate and national levels. Discussed below are some of the major breakthroughs in green technology. The examples also illustrate the cost saving benefits of the particular technology.
Transparent Solar Spray that Transforms Windows Into solar panels
The picture below is a design by a Norwegian company, EnSol AS, that has used photovoltaic cells to transform the suns rays into energy. The cells have however been in use for a long time but they have been known to occupy a lot of space and a also bulky. This company has developed an incredible new spray-on solar film consisting of metal nanoparticles that are embedded in transparent composite matrix. This allows one to use ordinary windows in solar panels. The most striking feature of this technology is that the spray is clear and one will still see through the window.
POWER leaps that harvests energy from our foot steps.
POWER leap decided to avoid the conventional outside sources of energy by harvesting it from our foot steps. Their piezoelectric floor tiling system converts energy from human feet to the grid.
‘Solar Ivy’ Photovoltaic Leaves Climb to New Heights
Away from the large photovoltaic panels, SMIT (Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology) Company decided to integrate it into decorative elements that more people would be willing o install into their buildings and on more surface area. Their ‘solar ivy’ a system incorporates leaf shaped solar panels that have the thinness that generate energy due to sparkling in light. They consist of thin layers of film material on top of polyethylene and are thus quite a couple of miles away from the usual huge solar panels that we are used to
Shoe generator harvests power from walking
One of the most environmentally friendly forms of transportation is walking. one researcher at the university of LouisianaTech thought that it could even be more eco friendly when he designed a shoe that converts the wearer’s footsteps into electricity. The shoe contains a small generator that can power small electronics or even charge batteries.
Storing summer it to warm houses in winter
It costs many families many parts of the world quite a fortune to cool their houses in summer only to spend almost the same amount of money to warm their houses in winter. To save this money, scientists at the University of Hoggerberg in Switzerland are designing a method of saving power heat during summer only to use it to warm their homes in winter. Their campus, called the science city is installing systems that will allow it to harness natural heat during the warmer months, pump it underground and store it until the winter when it be pushed back up into buildings and act as a heating system. The system is the first of its kind in the world.
The science city
Solar Plane Makes World's First Solar Powered Night Flight
Ever heard of planes that use solar energy, what about a solar powered plane that flies at night? Well, pilot and CEO of Solar Impulse has unveiled a plane that is solar powered but can even be flown at night. Until recently, none of the existing solar powered planes had attempted a night flight and the above case is thus a technological marvel.
The Solar Impulse HB-SIA is reported to have reached a maximum speed of 68 knots with an average of 23 knots. A total of 12,000 solar cells line its 193-foot wings. Energy in this plane is stored during the day, and then used after nightfall to complete the night flight.
Solar now cheaper than nuclear energy
Solar power has recently been found to be cheaper than nuclear energy. A study at the duke university has concluded that electricity from new solar installations has been found to be relatively cheaper than nuclear energy. This is because; a photovoltaic system today costs less than 50%of what it cost in 1998. The graph below illustrates this comparison.
Other examples of green technology include the previous illustration on the Midwest Family Mutual insurance company that has implemented a virtual work from home environment and is reaping huge benefits from the initiative (Elizabeth, R. 2010).
The invention of green technology is a milestone towards sustainability of the environment and resources for future generations. Although a lot has been done to this end, more still needs to be done to reduce the impacts of man’s destructive nature on the environment. In order to sustain green technology, all nations and states should cooperate to make the world habitable in the foreseeable future. It is the responsibility of the developed nations to help the third world countries to implement green technology strategies since the effects on climate change, if not adequately checked, will be felt globally.
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