How can digital technology be used to solve the environmental crisis…
How can digital technology be used to solve the environmental crisis
General environmental issues
Farming plays a major role in water pollution as farm runoff can lead to algal blooms in any water body where the fertiliser reaches making it unusable for humans and for marine life. The fertilizer alone will render the water unsafe for consumption.
The manufacturing of our products often leads to massive amounts of waste which is often dumped into nearby water bodies polluting it and rendering it unusable for both humans and the local marine ecosystem
The waste we generate also often ends up in water bodies making it unusable for us and the marine ecosystem
The use of fossil fuel reliant automobiles creates a lot of pollutants that contaminate the air and adversely affect the health of any ones who breaths it
Construction can also create large amounts of dust which can affect air quality
Industrial manufacturing also has a major impact on the air quality as large amounts of pollutants may be produced as a byproduct
The accumulation of waste has a major impact on the soil quality and the accumulation of waste such as plastic may render pieces of land unusable
The overuse of fertilisers can adversely affect the soil quality and will erode it over time
Energy production is hugely dependant on fossil fuels which release massive amounts of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) heating up the environment.
Fertiliser production is responsible for the production of nitrous oxides which are potent greenhouse gases, 300 times stronger than carbon dioxide and are responsible for 6% of greenhouse emissions every year.
Automobile use can also be a huge contributor to global warming as most automobiles use fossil fuels as their power source which creates huge amounts of carbon dioxide
The effect we have on local ecosystems
Farming has a major impact on marine ecosystems. This is because fertilizer runoff will accumulate in water bodies causing algal blooms and phytoplankton blooms which will adversely affect the marine life underneath with both of these phenomena preventing gas exchange at the surface of the water and restricting the amount light that will reach the lower layers resulting in dead zones in the water.
Farming has a major impact on land-based ecosystems as well with farming being a land-intensive process farmers need to clear out a large plot of land to set up their farms often resulting in deforestation. Through deforestation, many animals lose their habitats and their ecosystems are destroyed completely. The construction of power plants and other facilities will also result in the same thing.
The industrial waste that we produce also has a negative impact on both marine and land based ecosystems as the toxic chemicals that are present within the waste will result in the contamination of water bodies adversely affecting the marine life within the water body and any industrial waste present on land can also adversely affect the local ecosystem as it will affect the health of the wildlife.
Farms use up vast amounts of resources including fertilizer and immense amounts of water, in fact 70% of the world's fresh water goes to growing our crops.
Solutions that digital technology offers
A shopping platform for environmentally friendly products where users can shop knowing that the products they buy will have minimal impact on the environment encouraging users to switch from products which create large amounts of waste and greenhouse emissions.
An app which will act as a community blog for environmental activists helping them spread ideas and messages
A app which tells the user the cost in liters of water of everything they consume making them more aware about the water cost of each product and encouraging them to make positive choices in the products they buy
A recipe app which has recipes made from leftovers reducing food wastage, thus reducing the demand for food which has a major impact on the environment. Preventing the negative effects that the overuse of fertilizer has on soil, the negative effect that fertilizer runoff has on water bodies and their ecosystems, more land will be able to be devoted to forestry helping fight the climate crisis and fewer nitrous oxides will be produced.
Impact digital technology has on the environment
Electronic waste is generated every day with countless consumers throwing away their old gadgets in favour of newer products. This waste will not decompose as it is not bio degradable and has clogged numerous landfills all around the world
Excessive energy use, every time we open our phones or any other gadget we use electricity which more often than not comes from fossil fuels which release millions of tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere every year.
The production of our electronic gadgets produces metric tons of pollutants every day. This will pollute our water's and destroy marine ecosystems having an adverse effect on the environment