Going Green in the Modern World
Going green has a number of different meanings depending on who is asked. Going green is a movement to reduce the use of fossil fuels and materials in addition to lowering waste and pollution. Thanks to computers and technology, going green has been easier to achieve for people and companies alike. The Internet has aided the ability for all facets of society to go green, by saving paper and lowering energy costs. Advances in technology also have brought on solar power, hybrid vehicles, and florescent light bulbs. People and companies have embraced different ways in doing their part to help the environment by utilizing greener technology.
Going green is the newest trend in saving the environment. People have different definitions of what going green means, but for the most part they have the right idea. Going green’s focus is to reduce the use of fossil fuels and other materials to reduce waste and conserve the planet. From using canvas shopping bags to buying hybrid cars, society is trying to do their part to help curb waste. Most people nowadays would find it strange to waste paper writing a letter when they can simply email someone or text them instantly. Industries are under constant pressure to reduce their emissions and harmful wastes and byproducts of their manufacturing. Many companies support going green and have started promoting themselves with their efforts. Computers and technologies have helped tremendously in assisting not only companies, but also help people cut waste.
The Internet Effect
The Internet is a huge proponent of going green. In most cases if people decided to never leave their house, they would never have to. They can work from home, shop from home, and communicate from home, all because of the Internet. This has cut fuel costs and emissions. Companies have been able to harness the Internet as well by cutting material costs. Computers and the Internet have cut down the need of paper incredibly. People and companies no longer need to print out everything as they did before computers became affordable. People now can save all their documents on the computer and use them as needed, saving the need for printing. Thanks to mobile phones, many people can even conduct business without having to use any resources other then their phone.
Many companies such as Bank of America and Discover card promote their paperless statements that customers can get by email instead of wasteful paper statements that come in the mail. Paperless billing is also promoted by many utility companies and often people receive a financial incentive on signing up for that service. According to CNET, 92% of companies surveyed today have offered paperless billing and statements (CNET, 2009). The main reason is not only saving on paper, but it also saves tremendous amounts of energy. The reason the price of many things in the United States has risen is not just because of the recession. Energy and fuel costs have gone up for companies also, not just for consumers. As a result, prices have risen to reflect the increase that companies have faced. So not only do consumers and companies benefit from paperless billing, but so does the environment.
The results of the push for paperless billing and statements have been a great success. Over the years, pollution from processing has gone down and millions of trees have been saved because of the recent surge of paperless billing. According to Allbusiness.com, if everyone in the nation signed up for paperless billing, it would save 16.5 million trees a year (Allbusiness, 2009). Many people are wary of not having things in paper, especially the “baby boomer” generation. If they were educated in how much energy cost and resources were saved, they may think differently.
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Computers and technology have also been able to cut down in the use of electrical power. GE was one of the first companies to offer compact florescent bulbs that save up to 60% power of conventional bulbs and last 10 times longer (GE, 2010). The use of these light bulbs would save a lot of energy and they are just as bright as conventional bulbs. If everyone was required to use them, it would prevent more then 13 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere every year (GE, 2010).
Solar panels have also started to be taken seriously as a viable source of electricity. Before the advancements in technology, this source of energy was limited because it was not able to be properly stored for use when the sun was not available. Thanks to advancements in photovoltaic cells, this energy is able to be stored and used later. T-Mobile announced last week the first completely solar powered cell phone tower. Not only does this tower not use any standard electricity, it actually pumps surplus solar power electricity into the conventional electrical grid that it doesn’t use (Yahoo News, 2010). Without advancements in technology, none of these things would be possible.
People are also purchasing more hybrid cars. These cars use electrical power as a primary energy source as well as conventional gas to help cut emissions and use of oil. Chevy will be releasing the Bolt in 2011, which can go up to 40MPG on one electrical charge (Chevrolet, 2010). Many other companies have made strides with their hybrids and have been able to get more miles out of electrical charges. Eventually as technology advances, an all electric car will be released which will be one of the biggest achievements in the green movement. These advances in computers and technology have been essential in producing a greener society.
Society as a whole has embraced these advancements in green technology and is also doing their part. Many people choose to buy electric outdoor equipment instead of the usual gas and diesel equipment that have been sold for decades. It is not unusual to see people mowing their lawns with electric lawnmowers and weed whackers. Newly developed sensors can now detect how dry lawns are. These sensors determine how long sprinklers should be on for which helps conserve water.
There are some instances when people can become even “greener,” especially with their own computers. People should buy more laptops instead of desktops because they take less energy. Laptop users are also more likely to turn off their computer when they are done as opposed to a desktop. If people do not have laptops, curbing their power usage settings on their desktops can help ease wasteful use of power. Society and companies have been very receptive in helping the environment by changing wasteful habits and taking advantage of modern technology.
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- Living green in a modern world
Does living green sometimes seem like a struggle to you? It shouldn't be. Take advantage of these tips and resources to help you to live green and love it.