The world is continuously changing in aspects of economics, diplomatic relations, the technological and industrial revolution, global health, and of course, the environment. The continuous environmental changes like global warming and climate change are just one of the few indicators that our environment is not keeping up with our fast pace towards revolutions. As we learned to innovate and revolutionize everything that is around us, it is just crucial that we make necessary efforts in sustaining the resources we have and the environment that we are moving into. And the best way to do that is to integrate innovation and technology with environmentally friendly practices that aim to sustain and prevent further degradation and depletion of the environment and our natural resources.
Mostly known as green technology or sustainable technology,
Green-tech takes into account the long- and short-term impact something has on the environment (Bellis, 2019).
In this blog, we will tackle some of the green technologies that are very popular and helpful nowadays, its advantages and disadvantages, the status of green tech in the Philippines, and how can we contribute as individuals in a lower scale but still achieving the green tech sustainability goals.
Imagine you are a business owner who wishes to minimize cost with a bonus of being on the list of environmentally-friendly companies. And you have realized that a huge part of your production cost is allotted or consumed by electricity. With no hesitations, you invest in a solar and wind farm so that you can have an unlimited supply of electricity for your business. This scenario is just one of the many examples of many green technologies’ applications. The use of solar and wind energy to generate electricity is very environmentally friendly since it does not produce greenhouse gas emissions in generating electricity. Also, solar and wind energy are considered clean and renewable sources meaning there is an unlimited supply of these resources flowing around just waiting to be utilized.
Starbucks Corporation is one of the companies that have already been implementing the use of wind and solar energy in its business operations worldwide (Kenton, 2020).
Although the primary goal of green tech is to help the environment, people can use it as an excuse for a more detrimental act against it. For example, rather than relying on more sustainable and effective environmental practices that have an actual impact on the environment, some organizations or companies might consider having a single and not that effective green tech to say that they are an environmentally friendly organization or that they have complied with the law. Causing them to be more dangerous and careless towards their actions on the environment. But then it can be avoided by strict compliance with the environmental laws and protocols that businesses and organizations govern.
Green-tech is only effective and helpful if being implemented and seen the way it should be. It should not be used to mask that something is ‘clean’ and ‘green’ when in fact they are not. Like for example in the use of electric cars and vehicles. Advertisement about how eco-friendly and sustainable these electric vehicles is the new global tech trend, with brands like Tesla, Google, and other auto-manufacturing companies like BMW and Nissan dominating the market. No wonder the sales and demand for electric cars are skyrocketing today.
However, experts say that electric cars are also just worse for the environment when manufacturing processes and batteries are taken into account (Deb, 2016).
Electric cars that promise to use clean energy is in fact getting its energy from the grid that uses, guess what, coal as its primary source. It only not as effective as we think as it is but the production of an electric car is also an extensive process that uses a lot of non-renewable resources and consumes a huge amount of unclean energy. Therefore, like any other revolution, the production and usage of electric cars can be considered as not effective in combating environmental issues. But compared to traditional cars, electric cars may have a significant impact on the environment.
The Philippines as a country also has a strong environmental program and laws that aim to promote green technology.
Under Republic Act. №10771 also known as Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2016, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) shall, together with the TESDA, assist the DOLE in analyzing skills, training and re-training needs concerning the use of green technology that has the potential to create new green occupations and greener jobs, especially in industries or sectors undergoing structural changes due to climate change and greening of the economy.
Although there is support from the government, many private sectors and organizations are still not implementing any green technology within their operations.
Lacking the resources that are considered green technology is not a hindrance to helping sustain the environment. As an individual, we can create and contribute many things to the betterment of our environment. A simple gesture of turning off the lights or devices when not used to conserve energy could have a huge impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Proper segregation and disposal of waste could help the drainage system function well, preventing flood at a higher scale. Even planting and growing foods in the backyard garden could be a big help to minimize food consumption thus limiting food waste. We can also try walking or using a public transport when commuting, this will not only solve our electric car dilemma but also have a beneficial health effect in our body.
As a computer science student, I always joined various tech competitions and hackathon that aims to create and develop technology that might be beneficial in attaining sustainable development goals. All I’m saying is no matter who we are or where we are, helping the environment is always an option and we can always do something to help.
We always have the power to create and develop. But as long we think and act only thinking about ourselves, we will never have true progress and innovation. One thing I will never forget from my environmental science class from 7th grade was the definition of sustainable development that is
“development that meets the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs.”
The truth, as human beings, we should learn to compromise for our environment and not the other way around. Simply because our world can exist without humans, but humans can’t live without the world backing up our asses. Nevertheless, let’s pause for a moment and think about every decision we had in our life. And if you think that your decision does not do any good for the environment… step-up and do something!
10 Examples of Green Technology. (n.d.). Retrieved from TECAM: https://www.tecamgroup.com/10-examples-of-green-technology/
Bellis, M. (2019, July 26). Introduction to Green Technology. Retrieved from ThoughtCo.: https://www.thoughtco.com/introduction-to-green-technology-1991836
Deb, A. (2016, December 8). Why electric cars are only as clean as their power supply. Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/08/electric-car-emissions-climate-change
Kenton, W. (2020, April 28). Green Tech. Retrieved from Investopedia: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/green_tech.asp
Visser, R. (2017, December 6). 10 Green Technologies That Could Help Revolutionize Our Changing Planet. Retrieved from Huffpost: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/green-technology_n_7208264