Efficient & Eco-Friendly Use of Technology

Instructor: Michael Blosser

Michael has a Masters in Physics and a Masters in International Development. He has over 5 years of teaching experience, teaching Physics, Math, and English classes.

This lesson will describe and give examples of the use and creation of eco-friendy and efficient technologies that are at the forefront of pushing for a sustainable future.

Renewable Energy
Renewable Energy

The Union of Concerned Scientists reports that after extensive scientific research an overwhelming consensus from the scientific community has indicated that our planet is unnaturally warming due to human activity in an act called global warming and that global warming and other methods of human consumption and production are irrevocably damaging the environment and the organisms that make up our world. However, companies, communities, and people have confronted this challenge by creating and using efficient and eco-friendly technologies that use less electricity and cause a lot less harm to the environment. This lesson will describe and give examples of these technologies that are leading the way towards a sustainable future.

Eco-Friendly Technologies

Jack, from Green Tech box, defines a green or eco-friendly technology as a technology that has no net adverse affect on the environment and uses a sustainable source of energy. These eco-friendly technologies have been more and more commonplace since they are not only a benefit to the environment, but they can also be a benefit to the consumer as well. Some other characteristics of eco-friendly technologies are:

  • Recycled or reused materials
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants
  • Use of renewable energy and minimal use of natural resources
  • Low consumption and low-impact

Here are some examples of mainstream eco-friendly technologies:

Hybrid & Electric Cars

Hybrid and electric cars are an example of more common eco-friendly technologies. Hybrid cars use a combination of a normal combustion engine and an electric motor in order to cause a very fuel efficient car. Electric cars are completely electric and do not produce any greenhouse gas emissions. Although hybrid cars are very common now in the United States, electric cars are finally starting to hit the mainstream with eco-friendly states such as California rapidly implementing the type of infrastructure needed in order for electric cars to be commonplace. These eco-friendly cars save energy and greatly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Lighting

Another eco-friendly technology that has become mainstream is highly efficient LED lighting. Incandescent light bulbs, the types of light bulbs that were used for the past 50 years, are very inefficient with 98% of the energy that they produce being output as heat. However, new eco-friendly LED light bulbs can use 160 watts to replace a 400 watt lamp and still produce the same or a greater amount of light. These light bulbs can produce a 90% reduction in energy consumption, causing an enormous amount of energy savings and benefits to our environment!

Is Eco-Friendly Technology Efficient?

The efficiency of our technology and power sources have become an important characteristic in determining if a technology is eco-friendly. Energy Efficiency is usually defined as the percentage of energy output to energy input. For example, if a motor required an energy input of 5 kilowatt hours per hour and produced an energy output of 2.5 kilowatt hours per hour, this would give the motor an energy efficiency of 50%. Or to put it in a different way, 50% of the energy put in has been converted into some useful output.

The efficiency of a technology is a super important characteristic of an eco-friendly technology as it directly relates to energy consumption. If this technology requires a lot more energy to be put in than it produces, this causes an enormous consumption of energy and resources, which directly affects our planet. Energy efficiency provides numerous environmental benefits such as burning of less fuel, less consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions, less pollutants, etc… Therefore, in order to consider a technology eco-friendly, the technology must be energy efficient!

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