Engineers have provided innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems, and in so doing, have shaped the course of history. Can we rely on them to help us transition to a greener and more sustainable future? The answer is, a resounding: YES!
Here are some ways that engineers are already helping to build a greener future, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
Buildings consume a whopping 40% of global energy consumption and contribute around 30% to carbon emissions through their construction and operation. Engineers can help to design more efficient buildings which use less energy than their carbon-guzzling counterparts. Energy-efficient buildings usually rely on some form of clean renewable energy (like solar) which means they make zero or much lower emissions than conventional buildings. They also cost less to run and owners aren’t as affected by scary fossil fuel energy price hikes.
As global climates change, many cities are experiencing drought and water shortages. From desalination plants to low-flushing toilets, engineers are responsible for coming up with all sorts of wonderful water saving and water recycling technologies. There are even technologies available that are able to create water from air!
Transport networks are the lifeblood of any city. Conventional types of transportation such as motor cars and steam trains create a lot of pollution. Engineers are designing cleaner methods of transportation like electric cars, bicycles, and so much more. Engineers are also designing more efficient transport infrastructure such as railways, bridges, and roads. Perhaps they will even design the flying car of the future!
The world is transitioning from its heavy dependence on fossil fuels to cleaner and renewable forms of energy production, and engineers are leading the way. Examples of renewable energy include solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. But did you know that it doesn’t stop there? Engineers have also designed innovative ways to harness renewable energy like capturing energy from ocean waves, and melting down plastic and turning it into a kind of fuel (a process called pyrolysis). The list goes on.
Recycling helps us conserve natural resources and reduce our impact on the environment, but it’s not just about sorting cardboard and plastic to make them easier to dispose of. Recycling also involves turning waste into new useful products. Best of all, the technologies used to do this are created by engineers! Some cool examples include, creating building insulation boards out of plastic PET bottles, and making an office chair out of recycled fishing net!
From designing roads, bridges and buildings with less concrete, and more recycled materials, engineers are designing stronger, lighter and, most importantly, greener materials, which are sure to shape our future cities!
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