Putting Environmental Technology to Work in the Home
Environmental technology encompasses several diverse practices. Among others, these practices include using technology that harnesses the power of the sun, wind and water to reduce our dependence on energy that’s generated by burning fossil fuels; recycling obsolete, damaged or otherwise unwanted items and materials to preserve existing resources and reduce the burden on our overflowing landfills; using LED, CFL and other energy-efficient lighting in and around the home; and incorporating a home rainwater harvesting system to collect water for drinking, cooking and bathing, thereby helping to conserve our diminishing supplies of fresh water.
Each one of these practices is environmentally friendly. Whether you decide to apply one or all of them, environmental technology will make your home greener and much more fuel-efficient. It will also be one small step in helping to reduce humanity’s negative impact on our natural resources and environment.
Sustainable energy-generating technologies include photovoltaic arrays that create power from the rays of the sun; wind turbines that help us exploit the power of the wind; and turbines and other equipment that produce hydroelectricity by utilizing the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. Solar power, wind power and hydroelectricity are both renewable and sustainable. Not many of today’s homes use wind or water turbines to generate electricity, but the number of solar panels being added to roofs is skyrocketing. Each of these technologies allows us to reduce our consumption of energy produced from fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas.
Recycling unwanted items and materials serves two purposes. Besides helping to decrease the huge number of items that are disposed of in landfills every day, recycling technology helps preserve our existing natural resources. Recycled items are repurposed, and they reduce the need to use resources to make brand-new products. Recycling is easy to do, and in many cases (although not all) it’s free.
LED (light-emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) lighting are two fairly recent innovations, becoming widely used within the last decade or so. Both these types of lighting are much more energy-efficient than old-style incandescent bulbs. They represent two environmentally sound technologies that can be used by anyone in any home.
Rainwater harvesting systems are another example of technology that’s being put to work to help make homes greener and less wasteful. A rainwater harvesting system can easily be incorporated into a new home’s design. And, in many cases, it’s possible to add this type of water-saving system to an older home. Technology like a rainwater harvesting system can help us conserve a precious resource that’s rapidly dwindling.
Using technology in the home to create renewable energy and collect rainwater is a means to an end. So is recycling and using LED and CFL lighting. They’re all intended to help us conserve natural resources and preserve our fragile environment.