The UN, during the 2015 Sustainable Development Summit set up 17 Sustainable development goals also known as the SDG’s. These goals were intended to ensure that all countries in the globe contribute towards making our world more habitable both environmentally and economically. A few years after, we can say that these SDG’s have helped advance innovations to help create prosperity for all.
Sustainable Innovations are technological advancements that can advance society economically without impairing the environment or extracting natural resources from our surroundings.
Our society’s technological and social advancement has been phenomenal. The industrial revolution created many new opportunities, but also came with many new problems including environmental issues, social problems, and many more. Fortunately, in recent years we have become increasingly aware of our natural environment and are taking steps to make sure we maintain the planet for generations to come.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the sustainable innovations that have helped improve the lives of people, created prosperity and benefitted our environment.
Examples of Sustainable Innovations
These innovations have been around for a while now. Here is a list of some of the best examples of sustainable innovations.
1. Solar power
This is one example of sustainable innovation. Solar power is the use of solar panels to harness radiation from the sun and convert this energy to other usable energy forms. These panels can be arranged on the roof of your house and used to power all devices in your home.
Usually, solar panels are connected to batteries that are charged by the energy gotten from the sun. These batteries then provide the electricity that you use in your home. This is a renewable energy source that is very sustainable.
Biofuels made from plant sources such as corn and sugar cane can be used to replace traditional fuels such as oil, propane, or natural gas.
This example of sustainable innovation highlights the importance of environmental protection. An example of this is using ethanol made from sugar cane to fill your car’s gas tank instead of using fuel or gas.
3. Wind power
Wind power is the use of wind turbines to harness energy for electricity generation. The most common type of wind turbine is the horizontal axis wind turbine- this type has blades that are placed horizontally on top of a tower that rotates and generates electricity.
Many countries that use this type of energy source have designated areas called wind farms where many turbines are erected for the purpose of electricity generation.
4. Hydroelectric Power
Hydroelectric power is the use of natural or man-made dams and reservoirs to power engines responsible for electricity generation. These water sources require a heavy current such as is seen in waterfalls. Such pressure could also be artificially created.
Hydroelectrical power is one of the oldest and most sustainable power-generating forms. It emits very little or no greenhouse gas and currently supplies about 31.5% of renewable energy in the US. It is also responsible for producing about one-sixth of the world’s electricity.
5. Electric cars
Electric cars use electricity to power a vehicle instead of traditional fuels such as gas or diesel. This is achieved by using an electric-powered battery that is charged using special car charging cables.
Electric cars have become more popular and have created job opportunities. It also helps improve our climate by emitting as few gases as possible when compared to regular automobiles.
6. Green Technology
“Green tech” is another example of sustainable innovations. It is one that is thought to be environmentally favourable due to its manufacturing or supply chain. this type of innovation employs the use of one or several sciences, chemistry, monitoring and devices to conserve our natural environment.
A typical example of this is water treatment. With water treatment, safe treatment methods are employed to ensure that safe and clean water is available for human and animal consumption. Other examples are sewer purification and solid waste management.
People are beginning to realize that green technology can not only be profitable but also help reduce some of the most pressing issues (e.g. global warming).
7. Organic Farming
The United Nations estimates that diets around the world have gradually shifted to more meat, refined starch, dairy products, and added oils. This has resulted in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
Organic farming is a way of farming that features environmental protection. Diseases, pests, and weeds are prevented by using organic techniques. Chemicals are not used in organic farming. Organic produce is also often more appealing and nutritious than conventionally grown produce.
8. Fair Trade Market Access
Fairtrade’s definition of sustainability emphasizes the importance of environmental protection and is a big part of the solution of sustainable innovations.
Fairtrade Standards promote compliance in key areas like:
- Energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction
- Waste management
- Pest control
- Biodiversity preservation
- Prevention of genetically engineered organisms and dangerous chemicals
Fairtrade products are a great way to ensure that farmers earn enough money to live a decent life. These products often make sustainability more readily apparent.
These examples of sustainable innovations have helped our world become better. With each passing year and an exploding population, a lot still needs to be done however, the progress recorded so far is encouraging. You can also join the fight for a more sustainable world by consuming more sustainable products.