It’s not news that our environment is growing increasingly at risk because of human actions — especially our lack of sustainable living practices. Over 97% of climate scientists agree that anthropogenic climate change exists. It’s essential that we, as a society, begin to take steps forward to actively change our behaviors to protect the planet we call home. Even if you don’t care about the future of our Earth at all, shopping sustainably also comes with personal benefits.
Why Eco-Friendly Production and Consumption Matters
Humans have had a bad habit of forgoing sustainable production and consumption, resulting in a gradual depletion of natural resources. Not only are we putting ourselves at risk of squandering our resources, but this waste pattern directly threatens future generations, who may need more valuable resources to protect. Adopting eco-friendly business practices and choosing to only shop for eco-friendly products protects our natural resources and reduces the waste we generate.
Unsustainable production practices also directly contribute to our global greenhouse gas problem and, therefore, global warming. The consequences of continued global warming are not to be ignored: if we don’t reduce our carbon footprint, natural disasters will grow stronger and more frequent, fertile areas will disappear, species will lose their habitats, and so on. The burning of fossil fuels for transport and heat contributes to global warming and creates pollution that poses a severe health risk to humans and animals once released into the atmosphere.
Regardless of your feelings toward the environment, using or making sustainable products will benefit you personally. Eco-friendly businesses are rapidly rising in popularity; they have a better reputation and can even save money. By reducing waste, you could lower your operating costs via fewer materials and equipment used. Additionally, energy-efficient and water-efficient equipment can lower monthly utility bills.
As a consumer, you’ll experience a positive impact first-hand as well. Eco-friendly products tend to avoid harmful substances so that if they end up in a landfill, they cause minimal damage. Plus, as mentioned before, energy- and water-efficient appliances might be more of an investment in the short term, but over time they will save you money by reducing waste.
Moreover, making eco-friendly products the norm will translate to making the environment a priority. When the only businesses that can be profitable use sustainable practices, those will become the standard. It’s up to responsible business owners and consumers to change the way we shop to save our vital natural resources and protect our Earth.
Ways You Can Sustainably Transform Your Tech Set-Up
1. Solar Panels
In today’s world, working from home is in. The responsibility of energy efficiency that used to fall on your boss is now your own responsibility. As one of the most eco-friendly products on the market, solar panels have the potential to power your entire house and completely offset your energy bills. These may not be cheap, but many states in the U.S. have programs in place to help with the cost of transition. Even if you’re a digital nomad, there are numerous portable solar panel products you can take with you in (or put on) your RV, van, or car that will power your laptop as you work.
2. Smart Power Strips
While you may not think of your phone as an energy vampire, its charger is. Even when your phone isn’t plugged into its charger, it will continue draining energy as long as it's connected to the wall. With a smart power strip, the energy flowing to your inactive phone charger will cease until you’re ready to use it again. This sustainable technology can save you energy and money on electronics like your television that stay plugged in all day, even if they’re inactive.
3. Eco-Friendly Backpacks
Okay, so these aren’t technically technology. However, almost every professional needs a bag to hold their laptop and other tech they use daily. Why not make sure even the bag that holds your tech is sustainable? Look for eco-friendly backpacks made from sustainable materials like recycled plastics and organic cotton, ensuring a long-lasting choice that puts the environment first.
4. Energy Star Appliances
An Energy Star Rating is given to any product that meets federally mandated guidelines regarding energy efficiency. Is your boiler acting up? Or maybe you’re ready to upgrade your refrigerator. Check for an Energy Star Rating before buying that new appliance– these devices range from windows and doors to coffee brewers and air conditioners. You don’t need to replace your entire home or business appliance set-up right off the bat to be green; you just need to take these first steps to show the world that sustainability and energy efficiency matter.
Looking to the Future
Sustainable technology is constantly evolving, especially now that so many different actors at all levels – citizens, firms, and governments – are taking a more active interest in it. Environmentally-friendly practices are crucial to finding healthier ways for humans and the planet to co-exist peacefully. While larger issues such as global warming will require action from giant corporations and governments worldwide, citizens have the power to make sustainable technology and products the norm. With every sustainable development you incorporate into your daily life, you are not only joining the fight to protect our natural resources and preserve the health of our planet, but you are also sending a message that sustainability matters.
About the Creator
Aaron is a content strategist and consultant in support of STEM firms and medical practices. He covers industry developments and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.