Have you ever tried winging it out and going off-grid? How about going on a trip without taking a single electronic gadget with you? What would you have given up to have your phone back?
The fear of “going analogue” is genuine. Wouldn’t we instead go on a hunger strike than give up using our phones for a month — or even a week?
We have grown to depend on our gadgets and other technological apparatus because they have allowed us to do more things easier and faster.
Technology has given us the conveniences that previous generations would never have been able to conceive as possible—however, the ease of lifestyle that we now.
Has come at a cost to the environment through increased carbon emissions, abuse and misuse of resources, and technological waste.
The scientific community and various social institutions have brought global summit agendas to the forefront of addressing environmental pollution brought about by technology. Here are some ways the tech industry is making up by supporting sustainability as a way of life.
Agriculture is one of the substantial contributors to carbon emissions. Agricultural processes emit carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.
In fact, in Canada alone, farming contributes 10% to the total greenhouse gas emissions.
There is an urgency for better, more environmentally friendly practices in crop and livestock production. Drum roll for… biotechnology in agriculture.
Biotechnology is a technology that leverages biological principles (think cellular) to develop a more sustainable way of life.
It has made possible the development of bio crops with a lower need for pesticides, less land-tilling requirements, less water usage, and decreased consumption of fossil-burning fuels.
These have led to less toxic materials released to the soil, reduction of soil erosion, conservation of water, and lower carbon emissions. The technology is also replicable in the developing world, which can significantly impact our hunger problem.
A word of caution, however. Much still needs to be done by way of research to ensure that the advantages of biological manipulation consistently outweigh potential risks to humanity.
The era of automation and computers have made obsolete manual compilations or lists of information once seen as indispensable. Gone are the days of our grandmothers’ yellow pages, laborious encyclopedias, and Rolodexes.
Today, everything is just a press of a button away. The implications are far-reaching.
Researchers no longer need to go through voluminous pages of abstracts to find the data to validate their findings.
Nor do doctors’ secretaries have to take hours looking for missing medical records. In the corporate arena, going paperless has given business processes a boost.
The need to have daily print-outs of documents to be routed for signing is already an outdated procedure. Today, more and more companies are going digital, from simple office operations to more complicated plant protocols.
These adjustments have facilitated faster approval of sales and marketing recommendations, the swifter establishment of course-correcting measures, a more systematic approach in determining and balancing customers’ demands vis a vis operational capital. Going digital is not just a sound decision for business but also the environment.
It is estimated that the average U.S. employee consumes 10,000 sheets of paper a day which is roughly equivalent to an average-sized tree.
When a corporation takes the carbon offsetting paperless route, imagine the boost on efficiency — and the subsequent reduction in wastefulness. What a breather this will be for our trees and our ecosystems!
An app for an apple
The vast array of available applications that help foster a more livable way of life are just fascinating. Oreoco is a personal smart app that enables one to determine and track their carbon footprint.
The app also finds means and ways to minimize gas emissions from individual activities and offset them by offering actionable solutions. Not only does it help raise awareness of one’s accountability in global warming, but it also helps one do something about it.
How about zeroing in on more “liquid” matters? The Waterprint app available on iOs allows you to check your water footprint from your day-to-day activities.
It also helps you make ecologically sustainable lifestyle choices by making you aware of the amount of water consumed by the clothes you wear, the steak you indulge in regularly, and so on.
Other apps don’t just assess what you eat, drink, or wear. The GoodGuide app covers a range of products (about 75,000 to date) and evaluates their environmental impact.
The valuations can then help you decide on which products and companies to support with confidence. All these apps enable personal accountability.
Would you like to make a bolder step? Install the WeDontHaveTime app to connect with environmental activists and learn more about doing your part in protecting the environment.
While we are still far from developing a DeLorean time machine, Dr Emmett Brown would surely be proud of the environmentally supportive advancements made in the automotive industry.
Norvergence Foundation INC: In 2019, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced that the tech giant would order 100,000 electric vehicles from Rivian. The purchase was made to support Amazon’s Climate Pledge to attain zero-carbon status by 2040.
With this singular move, the company has given the “green” signal for the production of more energy-efficient modes of transportation and delivery.
Because transportation is one of the largest carbon-emitting sectors, carbon-neutral vehicles can dramatically impact the environment.
Since electric cars run on renewable energy sources such as solar or wind, there is no need to burn fossil fuels. No fuels mean no emissions.