We live in an age of unprecedented technological advances that are almost always closely tied to consumerism. But, there are many brilliant people who are working towards building technologies that will contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle for us all. I wanted to create a series highlighting the technologies that hold the most promise for creating a more sustainable life for us all. These technologies are still in their younger stages, but have the potential to end (or at least help with) the debilitating problems that are plaguing our planet.
Vertical farming is a huge part of the urban agriculture movement, and has the potential to be the “future of modern agriculture.” The concept behind vertical farming is to grow crops within skyscrapers and other multi-story buildings. This farming setup allows for several advantages over traditional outdoor farming. The crops will take up significantly less land than normally required, and have the potential to create 80% less food waste and 99% less water usage than outdoor fields. The indoor farms also provide a controlled climate, which may be be able to yield multiple harvests in a year. Vertical farming is the direct answer to the fact that close to 80% of the world’s population will live in an urban setting by the year 2050, and research to perfect these indoor farms has even been backed by NASA.
Solar Power (At Home)
When solar power first became introduced as a possibility for homes, it was virtually unaffordable for many average homeowners. But, the price for solar panels and solar technology has continued to fall with as technologies have become more efficient over the past few years. Solar energy is both sustainable and renewable, which means that it is impossible to run out of, and the improvements in the technology continue to make solar panels more efficient over time. The United States is very behind in terms of the conversion to renewable energy though. In the second quarter of 2015, Britain was generating more of its electricity from renewable energy sources than coal for the first time. In contrast, there have only been solar conversions on about 600 thousand homes in the United States. We have a ways to go, but solar power is quite literally the future of saving our planet and gaining virtually unlimited energy.