Todd Gebski October 8, Over the last two decades, our lives have been slowly taken over by technology.
We are better connected and better informed. Technology lets us travel the globe and get close to wildlife without leaving our desk, our cell phones can help us to make better shopping decisions and software helps us to be more energy efficient.
It also has served to dematerialize our lives. Here are five of the major ways that technology helps us to consume less and lighten our environmental footprints.
Digitization Probably the biggest technological advance that has helped us to consume less is the digitization of so much of our lives.
Think of all the things that we now overwhelmingly use digital versions of instead of physical items: While the physical versions of these things still exist, overwhelmingly we now favor the instant digital version.
When we replace these things with digital versions, we consume less actual stuff. That translates to fewer resources used to make things and less energy used to manufacture and transport them. When we use our computer or smartphone to consume music, we prevent the use of resources to make physical CDs, their jewel cases and liner notes; when we read an e-bookwe prevent the need for pulp for the paper and How does technology help us energy used to print and ship them.
When your entire music library is contained within an iPod or smartphone, or an unlimited amount of knowledge is just a Google search away, your footprint is so much lower than if you had consumed the same amount of music in physical form or bought the equivalent amount of books.
Consolidation Another major way that technology is helping us to consume less is through the consolidation of things within one gadget. This has been especially noteworthy in the past few years with the rise of smartphones and tablets. These technologies let us carry just one device that serves several purposes, as opposed to many.
Smartphones serve as phones, music players, personal planners, GPS devices, cameras, watches and alarm clocks and more. Tablets do all that plus they have the ability serve as e-readers, dvd players, gaming consoles and pretty much any type of media device.
For some, tablets are even replacing home computers. These devices can act as several gadgets in one, and replace the need for many individual things. In fact, the more you can use the features of your smartphone or tablet for instead of buying additional gadgets, the lower your environmental footprint is.
The practice helps to curb the consumption of resources and energy for making new things when used items continue to be marketed and used. Ebay and Craigslist connect buyers and sellers in a way that had never been possible before.
Electronics-recycling sites help to extend the life of our gadgets by buying, refurbishing and reselling them. Sites like NextWorthGazelle and TechForward all give us easy ways to conserve resources and energy by keeping working devices out of the landfill and reducing demand for new gadgets off the assembly line, usually with just a click of a few buttons.
Community Sharing Something else that technology has really allowed to expand to a much greater scale is community sharing.
Services like ZipCarwhere people can set up online appointments to borrow cars in their city by the hour or by the day, lets many users share a small number of cars, instead of each person owning one. Netflix lets people consume DVDs that way and Borrow Lenses lets photographers and filmmakers rent camera, video and audio equipment for their projects instead having to buy it.
City-wide bike sharing programs use let anyone access community bikes from kiosks located around the city. All you need is a credit card. These types of community sharing services are able to have a far reach thanks to technology and, especially in urban environments, they open up the possibility of only sharing major things like cars and bikes instead of owning, cutting down on not just individual consumption, but community consumption as well.
Customization Most recently technology has really helped us to customize the things that we make and buy, leading to consumption that is less wasteful. The possibilities are also endless. Also, making things one at a time in the spot where they will be consumed means no wasteful packaging or excess products made on an assembly line that may never be bought.
Another service that I would also include here is Kickstarter. The crowd-funding site that lets people support the launch of products and innovations of their choosing has been allowing us to customize what ideas we want brought to the marketplace.
The site allows us to put our money behind things that are truly needed in this world and are sure to be used, unlike the random, endless rows of plastic things found at big box stores that may never really have any usefulness or any buyers and represent heaps of wasted resources and energy.
Community sharing services are out there, but to make an impact we have to use them more instead of more often choosing individual ownership.Nov 16, · Critically, these very technologies might help us unlock the solutions to some of the biggest societal challenges we currently grapple with.
The ICT underpinning these technologies, in consort with the transformational power of big data, could support smart systems that will help tackle climate challenges. What technology is and the differences between science and technology.
About the role of science and technology in society and that technology positively influences our quality of life by helping us learn, live safely, and stay healthy. That in benefiting from the conveniences technology offers. This technology can save us time, energy, and money, while making us better at the skill than we could have hoped to become.
Here are three ways that technology helps us acquire new skills: Visual.
7 Ways Technology Will Help Us Change The World. How does this help me help the world? Big or small, here are seven ways that technology has impacted our lives and helped us change the world. 1. Access to advice and tips. Technology allowed us to find a replacement for Freon, which was causing a hefty depletion in our ozone layer.
Our technology helps us learn, date, eat, socialize, and so much more. The only time we don’t use technology is when we are exercising flying sleeping, well, dead. For now. For example, recent advances in technology have given us a wide variety of laptop and tablet computers. In a school setting, these technological marvels allow children with learning disabilities to play educational games that help them learn and retain information that traditional teaching methods haven't achieved.