Along with making life easier for individuals and businesses, the developments in technology are helping the environment in several key ways. From using less power with the rise of tech such as solar heating, and fewer fossil fuels with electric car use increasing, technology is playing a significant part in saving the planet.
Ways tech is helping the environment
An obvious way technology is helping protect natural resources is paper use.
While the paperless office isn’t quite here yet electronic note taking, record keeping, file storage and point of sale equipment to transact sales and track stock inventory with little or no paper use is cutting down on the reams of paper previously used worldwide.
Cloud storage is relatively cheap so encourages even smaller businesses to digitize rather than use paper, and more organizations send invoices, newsletters and other correspondence digitally.
In areas where certain species are under threat with numbers declining, technology is stepping in to help.
Drones can easily track wildlife movement habits and also help combat the threat of poachers by acting as security cameras covering wide areas.
Electronic tagging and GPS use helps provide accurate data as to where certain species go and builds up a picture to help maintain an ecosystem to minimize overpopulation or threats that might cause numbers to fall.
The need to make agriculture more efficient is causing something of a technological revolution as techniques develop:
Intelligence – satellite images and sensors provide farmers with valuable information about their land so they can plan planting schedules and maximize their returns. It helps crop rotation.
Livestock monitoring – using biometric tech farmers can receive accurate, real time data about their livestock.
Robotics – automates labour intensive work such as sowing and weeding, assists in monitoring the condition of land and helps predict any changes likely.
The smart home
While making life more convenient for the householder in terms of being able to, for example, remotely switch on or adjust the central heating the smart home improves energy use.
Homes consume considerable resources, so saving energy and reducing the carbon footprint through smart technology is a key step forward.
Being able to remotely control heating and lighting, and use motion sensors to switch lights on and off as and when needed saves waste.
Technological advances have helped alternative sources of energy become more viable. For example, solar heating can now make a significant difference to reducing fossil fuel use and reducing carbon footprints whereas when in its infancy it was very limited.
Other renewable energy sources such as biomass, geothermal and wind power are definite options and likely to become more mainstream in the future.
There is much legislation controlling the emissions permitted by businesses, but where technology is helping is in monitoring these organizations effectively.
Sensors and other tech can record air pollution and emissions levels such as near power plants to ensure federal regulations are being adhered to. It means accurate monitoring can take place without having to physically visit premises.
They’re both more environmentally friendly and more energy efficient than fossil fueled vehicles.
Using battery power as opposed to an internal combustion engine, they use over 60% of their electric power to drive the wheels whereas a conventional vehicle only uses just over 20% of its energy to power the wheels.
Electric vehicles are becoming more viable as prices lower and their range – the distance they can travel between battery charges – increases. It’s predicted by as soon as 2022 they’ll be less expensive to run than conventional vehicles.
No need to fear
While some worried that the march of technology might cause more strain on natural resources and the environment, the rise of tech means the opposite is true.