Everything You Need to Know About Green Technology in 2024

In 2024, green technology can feel like the new kid on the block. But the world of sustainable innovation has a long history you probably didn’t know about.

Take geothermal heating, a popular trend in energy-efficient homes and buildings. Using heat energy from below the earth’s surface dates back to Paleolithic times, when early humans bathed in hot springs and built homes from lava. Or take wind energy — as early as 5000 B.C., our ancestors were using wind energy to move boats down the River Nile. By 2000 B.C., wind power was pumping water and grinding grains. And solar power? Humans were harnessing the sun’s energy in the 7th century B.C. to light fires from magnifying glass. And although battery-powered vehicles might seem like a new trend, 90% of New York City taxis at the turn of the 19th century were electric vehicles.

So humans have been working on sustainable solutions for everyday needs for a long time. But today, innovative solutions to our environmental problems is now more popular — and more necessary — than ever.

So what does green technology actually mean?

In a nutshell, green technology http://youth-climate.com is any technology designed to reduce the negative impact of human activity on the environment.

Green technology: a few examples

There’s more to green tech than solar panels and wind turbines. Here’s a list of some popular planet-saving innovations you might not have heard of:

  • Wastewater treatment and water purification (recycling water to make it drinkable, or clean enough for other purposes)

  • Waste management and recycling (minimizing landfill and its impact)

  • Waste-to-energy (burning landfill to generate electricity)

  • Electric transport (electric cars, trucks, buses, scooters — you name it)

  • Programmable thermostats (programming temperatures to save energy when you’re not home)

  • Self-sufficient buildings (buildings that produce enough energy to power themselves, generally through solar panels)

  • Low carbon construction (developing energy-efficient buildings made with green materials and smaller footprints)

  • Carbon capture and storage (capturing and removing carbon from the atmosphere)

  • LED lighting (ultra-energy-efficient light bulbs)

  • Vertical farming (uses less land, less water, and can be set up in cities)

  • Composting (turning food waste into fertilizer)

  • Wave energy (using ocean waves to generate electricity)

  • Batteries (energy storage is crucial in the transition to renewables)

  • Green materials (local, renewable materials like bamboo, hemp and straw)

  • Carbon tracking software (yep, that’s us — software that calculates your company’s carbon emissions)

Green tech, clean tech, climate tech: what’s the difference?

Green technology or environmental technology means using science and technology to protect the world’s natural resources and mitigate the negative environmental impact of human activity.

Clean tech is a broad category that encompasses solutions that improve the performance and efficiency of production, while also reducing negative environmental impact of any kind. So clean technologies include innovations like clean energy, wastewater treatment, waste management, and more.

Meanwhile, climate tech tackles problems specifically associated with human-induced climate change — basically, any technology focused on mitigating the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. For example, while water treatment and waste management are considered clean tech,they don’t qualify as climate tech.