Unlike computer technology or Information Technology (IT) which has been growing exponentially in development, Green Technology is actually based upon materials science. With the purpose of reducing the green house effect and global warming, environmental technology has much of its backing and research related to simple earth science.
Green technology answers questions of how things grow, what impact they have on the earth, how natural resources can be turned into fuel, and how certain resources can be reused (hopefully again and again) to reduce waste and pollution. Scientists working in the field of Green Technology study and research various topics such as energy efficiency, the environment, sustainability, conservation, recycling, and re-purposing.
The scientists goal is ultimately to design systems and products which will aid in and promote a sustainable global community. The day to day work of a green technologist may range from testing air, water, or soil samples to rank pollution levels, working in a factory to implement eco-friendly process and procedures, collaborating with farmers for environmentally sound alternative fuel sources, or developing technology which will limit energy waste for cities or large companies.Categorizing jobs as “green” or “green-collared” may also apply to jobs that are not directly related to science, but the businesses offering the employment produce products that benefit the earth or provide services which are green. This could range from working for an organic farm to working for a non-profit agency which promotes conservation and sustainability.
Most jobs which are considered to be green fall into either the construction category or business and professional services. For instance, construction companies who employ Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for green buildings would be considered green. Another example might be a company which chooses to redesign its packaging to use post-consumer recycled materials or make the packaging more easily recyclable.
In recent years, the number of people employed in green jobs has surpassed the number of people who have jobs in the fossil fuel industry. Education for the workforce of the future is beginning to focus more on the needs to provide sustainable green technology, renewable resources, alternative fuels, green power, and energy conservation. In the past decade a focus has been placed upon green jobs worldwide through the UN and the International Labor Organization (ILO), and in the United States by U.S. Department of Labor and the Obama administration.
As employers look more toward these types of sustainable needs, up-and-coming young people will be leaving college or technical school with the goal of entering the workforce in an environmentally impact full career. Many of today’s youth will become the people who save the planet tomorrow.