To achieve sustainability in the world and have a positive environmental impact, there needs to be technological progression and improvement. In 2018, it seems that the pathways to sustainability are clear and ready for action to slow down or even reverse climate change. From technological advancement in a variety of different fields to a more stable economy and social order, a sustainable design that meets the needs of the twenty-first century can be reached through advancements in different fields around the world with more green buildings and a reduction in the need for non-renewable energy.
There are a lot of technological innovations that are focusing on environmental and social issues, such as energy-efficient water purification. Private investments in clean and environmentally-friendly technology have also increased greatly in the last few years, leading to a new high that is sure to be reached in 2018.
Here is a breakdown of the technologies (in a variety of different formats) that can help clear the pathway to sustainability. In short, sustainability relies heavily on the advancement of technology—and there are ways this is happening in a variety of different fields.
Manufacturing and/or Mining
Manufacturers have finally turned a corner and begun to recycle and reuse materials. In fact, recycling and not wasting the materials they have already used is becoming a common practice among a lot of manufacturers, leading to a more environmentally-friendly outlook in the manufacturing field.
The mineral and mining industry is also finally turning a corner and beginning to change their former ways into ways they can be more environmentally-friendly and clean. In fact, the mineral extraction industry is developing new technologies to try and fix past damage that has been done to land and environments. From these new approaches, these new technologies are now being applied to helping rehabilitate degrading (or incredibly damaged) lands.
Information is everything, isn’t it? The progression of information technology is now changing the way people live in the very basic sense: where they decide to settle down and live and start a family. Now that information technology has an ability to change or alter where people work and/or live, urban areas are changing as well. Former suburb towns are becoming urbanized and cities themselves. Because of this change and movement of people at a large rate, this is also changing how transportation systems work within the economy and the social population. Whether it’s by traveling by air, land or water, technology has increasingly improved traveling and is making more environmentally-friendly options readily available (especially in the case of, say, hybrid cars).
It would be great if we no longer had to rely on harmful resources such as fossil fuels. Sadly, this isn’t as realistic as we’d hope. While people do hope that one day, fossil fuels will not be used to the extent they are now, technology needs to advance and find ways renewable energy and clean energy can be used efficiently in its place. Finding an alternative to using fossil fuels is definitely the first step in making sure that the way we gain and produce energy in a clean and efficient way—and, in a way, it doesn’t pollute the planet like fossil fuels currently do.
However, many different countries around the world are working on technology to try and find fossil fuel replacements. Developments in regard to energy storage are also becoming much more advanced, meaning 2018 could be a great year for technological advancement in all things related to energy.
Renewable, sustainable energy has become much more popular and efficient than it was in the past. Rapid advancement in technology because of popular demand is one of the main reasons solar and/or wind energy is so effective today. More and more people, especially families and homeowners, are realizing just how beneficial solar or wind energy can be for them. This increase in demand will more than likely result in an increase in production, which will more than likely result in an increase in technological advancement.
Technological advances are also relied on when it comes to the food industry, especially in regard to food production, food storage, and food distribution. Biotechnology, however, has already advanced quite a lot in recent years. Whether it’s producing new crops that are resistant to drought and disease or advancing crops that will just naturally be resistant of pests (to stop the constant use of pesticides and chemicals), biotechnology has really already come a long way in recent years.
Environmentally-friendly farming has also become a new and progressive way to bring sustainability into 2018. There are quite a lot of sustainable farms that have popped up over the years, and these farms refuse to use chemicals and harmful pesticides on the land and on the food that they are growing.
Public infrastructure is incredibly important for society and must exist in a progressive way for the whole society to be considered sustainable. Crumbling or decaying infrastructure doesn’t do anything but hurt sustainability.
Public infrastructure isn’t just buildings and roads—it’s also water resources, supply systems, power systems. Bridges and roads are incredibly important but every aspect of public infrastructure is important.
This is one area where sustainable technology may have nowhere to improve, as it’s already quite well developed. There are still many challenges that this category faces, however, in regards to technology and the sharing of knowledge in developing nations or regions who may not have these technologies—but who desperately need them. While the technology doesn’t necessarily need to improve, the distribution of said technology really does. Sustainability only comes from all having sustainability, not just certain areas.
As you can see, 2018 holds a lot of promise and a lot of technological advancements could very well come from this year. Now more than ever, private business interests are realizing the effect that renewable energy has—and realizing that it’s actually quite cost-efficient. While there are some categories where technology has a long way to go, there are others (like public infrastructure) that just need to share their wealth of knowledge.
Sustainable technology is incredibly important for sustainability in a society as a whole. Quite often, sustainability won’t come about unless there is accurate time and effort put into new technological advancements. However, as 2018 is shaping out to be a progressive time for sustainable technology, there is a clear pathway to sustainability and viability.