So you've heard of green buildings, green businesses, green products, and green living, but have you ever heard of green technology? If you have, are you clear on what exactly makes technology “green”?
We've come across a lot of people who had similar questions about “Green Technology”: what it is, what it's used for and if you're just now using it without even knowing!
Skipping the complicated scientific definitions, green technology is simply any technology that is more efficient and environmentally friendly. If you're not sure what that means, one example is a printer that uses less energy and ink for printing but still gives you the results you're looking for. That's green technology- it's both efficient and environmentally friendly!
Green technology grew out of the 1960's and 70's as a response to increased prices of oil, and the widespread realization that fossil fuels could be running out soon. The sustainability movement and green technology soon became intertwined as a way to not only insure a cleaner world for tomorrow, but also the idea of a civilization that was self sustaining, and not environmentally draining.
Contrary to popular belief, green tech isn't just about wind turbines, solar panels and alternative fuel, but rather the areas of its application extend to building construction, sustainable purchasing, and even green chemistry. Below are some remarkable green tech examples:
- Solar Spray
Solar panels are used to turn sun rays into energy, but they’re often expensive, bulky and are not particularly attractive. In comes the amazing solar spray! Developed by a Norwegian company called EnSol AS, once sprayed over your ordinary windows it turns them into solar panels that convert sun rays into watts you can use to power your home. The best part? The spray is transparent!
- The Power of Footsteps
When considering alternative energy sources, companies usually look to sun and wind power, but Powerleap decides to do just the opposite of that. Their alternative idea uses inside energy generated by human foot traffic to harness energy. Train stations, sidewalks, public parks are all great examples of places this technology can be applied.
City heating system
In many parts of the world, a significant amount of energy is used to cool homes in summer, and just as much is used to hear those homes in winter. In Switzerland, Science City, part of the ETH Zurich campus, has developed a pioneering system that stores the heat of the summer underground, only to pump it back up to heat the homes during winters- talk about thinking outside the box.
Glimpsing the Future
Here is an idea of what to expect in the near future of green technology:
Bolt-on Turbines: Wind turbines that work only on your home's ceiling.
Subway Power: Harnessing the power of the wind of passing trains to charge your gadgets.
Solar Leaves: Tiny affordable solar leaves that cover the surface of a building to convert sun rays to power.
These aren't just ideas, they're actually projects in the making, and what’s even more amazing is that these just scratch the surface. Will we be seeing flying cars in the near future too? Doubtful. But one thing is for sure: future technology is looking a lot greener.