Technology Goes Green

Technology is now making use of alternative energy resources in order to be more environment-friendly.

The phenomenon of climate change seems to have taken the world by storm. Heated debates on this subject are taking place in every nook and corner. The nations of the world are battling it out at the Copenhagen Conference, shifting the onus of blame on each other. Where the super powers of the world are playing the blame game, on a much smaller scale, people are becoming more and more environment conscious. Films portraying the disastrous effects of climate change are being produced, artists are utilizing their creativity to spread the message, students are signing petitions and running campaigns and homes are being made eco-friendly by employment of techniques like rain-water harvesting and use of solar energy.

Technology, which has largely been blamed for pollution and depletion of natural resources, is also rapidly shifting from the ‘cradle-to-grave’ to the ‘cradle-to-cradle’ approach. ‘Green Technology’ or ‘Clean Technology’ primarily aims at reducing waste and pollution by changing patterns of production and consumption. It makes use of alternative energy sources so that present needs are met without compromising the potential of our future generations to meet their own needs. The increasing environment consciousness among the public has brought about a significant paradigm shift in their purchasing and consumption habits. In fact, more than often, it seems that use of eco-friendly gadgets has become more of a fad than a necessity. This latest ‘fashion trend’ has encouraged corporate houses to put on their thinking caps and come up with various innovative products and gadgets for the new and wiser consumer. Let’s look at some of the craziest and the ‘wackiest’ environment-friendly inventions of the world.

MIT’s Copenhagen Wheel

While our world leaders are racking their brains in order to combat climate change, the Copenhagen Wheel comes as a breath of fresh air amongst all the tension and turmoil. Designed and created by researchers as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it was unveiled at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. The wheel follows the simple mechanism of storing the kinetic energy given off by the rider while applying breaks. The kinetic energy is then used to charge batteries which then release this energy when the wheel senses your struggle while riding. This means, not only does it save energy, but it also gives you that extra boost when you are riding uphill or are too tired.

Energy-saving Automobiles

Now here are a few rides that can make one go ‘green’ (pun intended, of course!). Built along the lines of a certain Porsche with a similar name, the Tesla Roadster is an electric car. Almost as fast as a Lamborghini with a top speed of 200km/hr, this Roadster can go from 0 to 100 kilometer in less than four seconds! And of course, its slick look is an added advantage. Also available in the markets now is the Vectrix Scooter, which can run 109 kilometers on a single charge and has a top speed of 100km/hr.

Play ‘Safe’

Fun does not get ‘cleaner’ than this. The new H2Go Car is one of the most advanced toys you will ever find. The H2Go kit comes with a hydrogen fuel station, consisting of a solar panel, which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis and uses up the hydrogen to power the car.

Eco-friendly Mobile Phone

Whoever thought recycling could be ‘cool’! The new Samsung Blue Earth phone can make you a responsible human-being, while at the same time add to your style quotient. Made entirely out of recycled plastic bottles, it contains a solar panel at the back for charging. What’s more, it comes with a unique ‘Eco-walk’ feature, consisting of a pedometer which counts your steps and indicates how much carbon-dioxide you saved by walking as opposed to using a motor vehicle.

Be it a fashion statement or a conscious effort to curb global warming, this increasing proclivity of people to opt for eco-friendly products is an easy and effective way to save our rapidly deteriorating environment. In order to take this trend forward, more extensive R&D needs to be conducted in order to come up with more useful and efficient environment friendly and energy conserving products. Green Technology, indeed, can be the missing piece in the puzzle, the key to our survival.

Neehar Mishra

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