Five tech innovations you didn’t know about that could save the planet
Photo Source: Christian Hue (Unsplash)
It’s not a secret that since the dawn of time, human beings and societies have continued to progress and move forward to what we are today. But in the process, we’ve pretty much done our fair share of ruining our planet (whether unconsciously or otherwise). With climate reports everywhere (you can literally find a quick overview on social media if panicking through pages of studies isn’t your thing), big name celebrities calling to their fans to care more about the environment, and even your friend who suddenly wants to go plant-based after watching a documentary–we’ve pretty much realized that we have to do something about our climate crisis.
With our brilliant scientists and environmental advocates working tirelessly to make sure we still have a planet to call home, we’ve rounded up some innovations you probably didn’t know existed. These inventions could have a massive impact on saving our planet.
You’ve probably heard of solar panels and solar cells, but what about solar glass? It’s exactly what it is: it’s transparent and let’s light in but at the same time captures the sun’s energy to convert into electricity. This emerging technology is getting quite some buzz which is quite fitting since a lot of designers are integrating more glass into their buildings to allow for more natural light to fill the room (thus also saving on power used for lights). Right now, people still have concerns about efficiency, but with the current trend of the studies and developments related to solar glass, scientists are confident they’ll be able to create a truly efficient and environment-friendly product.
Graphene is this ultra-thin layer of graphite that is stronger than steel, thinner than paper, and more conductive than copper. With such characteristics, its practical applications are endless. A lot of the researchers are focusing on applications in electrical engineering. It is currently being used in boosting capacity, charge rate, and longevity of batteries which truly makes it a game-changer once they effectively incorporate it into electronically powered vehicles (a.k.a. probably the most sustainable transport solution we have in the future).
It would probably be hard for us to fix something if we don’t know what’s wrong with it in the first place. This is where environmental sensors come in. These networked sensors (some are even as small as a coin) are already monitoring our planet for us. They check out the air and water quality, identify pollutants, track acidification, and even capture real-time data of events that greatly affect our social and economic wellbeing. These sensors help scientists determine what next steps to take when addressing a certain environmental problem.
We’ve all heard it: there is too much carbon dioxide in the air. It’s to blame for our quickly warming planet. There doesn’t seem to be a way to get rid of it (or at least some of it that’s hurting our planet) or is there? According to the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Association, this technology will be able to separate and sequester carbon dioxide from gases produced in electricity generation and industrial processes. If you’re wondering if this is truly possible, check out the world’s first CO2 capture plant in Switzerland that was launched in 2017. Aside from this, other smaller plants are also making waves around the US and Canada.
Smart Collars for Animals
Environmental scientists have been doubling their efforts to save wildlife and maximizing the technology currently available. Smart collars embedded with GPS, meters, and sensors are being utilized in order to keep track of endangered species all around the world. These collars also help reduce animal-human conflicts in areas where humans are in close quarters with the wild. Other than these, the information provided by these collars allow scientists to gather more data about every species on the planet to help find ways to effectively protect them.
Hearing about all these tech-for-nature news sure makes me feel like we’re living in a world that seems to be taken right out of a sci-fi film or novel. It feels like we’re living in the future already. When we read the news and see the headlines about how human development has damaged the Earth, it can make us think that maybe too much technology is bad. The thing is, if used properly, it’s probably the only thing that could also save our planet.