From dangerous carbon emissions to giant islands of discarded plastic floating across the Pacific, there is no denying that we humans have made quite the mess on our little planet. All is not lost, however, as with new technology comes new opportunities for us to do our part to ensure our world’s future. Whether it comes in the form of clean and renewable energy, natural and low-impact construction or farming, or something completely different and unexpected, here are 25 Green Technologies That Could Save Our Planet.
Clean and renewable, wind power is one sustainable energy source that has seen a lot of attention lately for it’s plausibility. While “small” windmills are inexpensive and can easily power a small community or augment a local power grid, the massive offshore wind turbines found along the continental shelf can harvest much more energy at the cost of increased construction and maintenance expenses.
A lot of people don’t think about it, but electronics can contain a lot of expensive, rare, or even dangerous materials among their inner workings. Before you throw out your old computer or cellphone, look into e-waste recycling opportunities near you; recycling electronic components reduces the need to mine up more rare minerals and cuts out the risk of toxic chemicals seeping into the earth.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell
A pollution free alternative to fossil fuels, hydrogen fuel cells are basically batteries that convert the chemical energy from combining hydrogen and oxygen into electricity. In the future, they could be used in the powering and heating of buildings or as fuel in cars. However, because they require pure hydrogen to function, mass production of fuel cells is still unreasonable until we have more reliable and efficient ways of harvesting hydrogen.
When most people hear of LED lights, the first thing that probably comes to their mind are those flashing colorful lights that you wrap around a Christmas tree. However, recent years and technological advancements have benefited the development of white LED’s, and new lights can provide the same level of illumination as any other light, all while using a fraction of the energy and lasting 25 to 50 times the lifespan of a regular incandescent bulb.
Tidal generators are massive underwater fans that generate energy using the ocean’s tides, and because water is 1000 times denser than air, their energy potential could be much higher than that of wind power. Unfortunately, tidal generators are still very expensive to build and maintain; however, as technologies become cheaper, they could soon become a viable option for providing green energy to coastal and island communities.