Earth Day: Steps Towards A Greener Future (1/2)

Today is Earth Day. A day dedicated to spreading awareness regarding the obvious importance of our only home, our planet, Earth. With increasing pollution, levels of greenhouse gases and melting ice caps, scientists, innovators, and researchers are busy finding ways to mend the destruction done, and possibly turn things towards a better and greener future. We have nowhere to go besides Earth, and if we destroy our only home  despite the clear signs, we are the most stupid species of all. Below are four technologies and methods that evolved, improved and gained momentum in the past few months. This is part one of two posts regarding this topic. Don’t forget to read the part two here.

  • Translocation Of Trees

Trees play a very important role in the maintaining the balance and cleanliness of the nature, they convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, which is required by almost every living organism, their roots hold the soil and help in preventing soil erosion, they help maintaining a cooler temperature, and also in causing rainfall, and they also serve as home to many birds, insects and animals. The advantages of trees and vegetation are many, but with the increased rate of urbanization and deforestation in the name of development of cities, we are loosing our green cover. Clean air is becoming a luxury, and people from the cities especially go to parks to get a glimpse of greenery. The process of translocation of trees is not new, and has been around since 2000 B.C, also depicted in the pictographs of ancient Egypt. In this process, trees are dug out along with their roots, followed by covering the roots with jute bags after applying some chemical to preserve them, and then transporting them to an new location, and then planting them in a new hole dug for them. In India, this practice is common in Hyderabad, Bangalore and parts of Gujrat. The cost of this process is basically due to the hiring of cranes, and workforce and depends on the size and number of trees, and the distance of translocation. In Hyderabad, Ramchandra Appari started his company Green Morning Horticulture Services Private Limited, in response to the increasing deforestation of trees in the city for widening of roads and building of concrete jungles. You can read more about his company in the following link, and contact him for his services at ramchandra.appari@gmail.com . Let’s aim for Green Jungles Over Concrete Jungles.

  • Lab-Grown Meat

Today to feed the needs of the non-vegetarians, a large amount of livestock is grown and killed for meat. Aside from the most widely known fact that they have to go through a bad end, culturing such large amounts of livestock, especially cattle, releases large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas worse than CO2, increasing global warming. One parts methane is as harmful as 23 parts of carbon dioxide. Plus the use of excess antibiotics has given rise to the number of superbugs, virus and bacteria resistant to any available medicine. To tackle this, some innovators have started working on idea of ‘lab grown meat’, and they have succeeded in created samples of pork beef and chicken. This meat is grown from the cells taken from a host animal, and then culturing them to grown in controlled environment. Not only is this method COMPLETELY animal friendly, it has no methane emissions, or need to feed a large amount of livestock, or the danger of superbugs. This is not inhumane as the cells once removed from the host are not a separate living being, or are not cloned into one either. The cells are just made to grow into a certain amount of edible meat. They are as good as dead, as they have no ‘feelings’ or ‘consciousness’ once removed, the host also has no trouble or danger in the process. The respective teams predict this lab grown meat to be available in the market in next five years.

  • Australian Scientists Invent An Arsenic Filter

A team of scientists headed by Saravanamuth Vigneswaran from University of Technology Sydney(UTS), in collaboration with Vietnam National University, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, and local Vietnamese partners, have invented a new filtration technique, reusing local waste material, that filters out arsenic along with other impurities and bacteria from water, making it fit even for consumption. Today around 140 million people across 70 countries risk their life drinking arsenic water, and current filtration techniques like reverse osmosis and iron exchange aren’t cheap or efficient, which makes it hard for countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam, that need it the most, to use these methods. Arsenic is a known carcinogen, but since it takes a long time for any effects people take the risk of consuming arsenic-containing water, and this might lead to various types of cancer and gastrointestinal infections. The new invention has three major parts, an organic membrane, a tank in which the membrane is fitted, and an absorption cartridge. The membrane can function for upto three years and the cartridges containing filtered arsenic need to be replaced every three to six months. The technique will also create local jobs for its maintenance, and since waste materials have been used the advantages doubled up. The removed old cartridges are used in building material, and hence there is practically no waste released in this technique. The team has been awarded with the Technology Against Poverty Award to support their research.

  • Machine That ‘Sucks’ Pollution

Environmental Nano Solutions (ENS), a Dutch company, has designed a machine, that looks like a giant fan, which sucks in the air pollution, and filters the pollutants out. The large blades suck in the polluted air around it like in a vacuum cleaner, and using an electric field the dust particles are given a charge because of which they form bigger lumps which can easily be filtered out. Though this is not a new technique, it is an improvement on the previous versions as it does not release ozone in the method. These huge air purifiers can be fitted on top of buildings and tall structures and act as the ‘ lungs of the city’. Today many parts of the world, particularly China and India, are facing an acute danger of air pollution, people are forced to wear face masks all the time in China, and Indian cities like Delhi and Bangalore are going to join in if the rate of increase of pollution remains the same. There is an urgent need of efficient and cheap methods to tackle this problem.

The above methods are an already existing technology, that is being further improved but more or less within the same designs and principles. The next post in this topic concentrates more on new inventions that are particularly focused on fighting pollution. Don’t forget to read it and know about the revolutionary inventions that might one day save us from being just a chapter in the history of the Universe. Happy Reading!

-The Cosmogasmic Person


Links:

Earth Day: Steps Towards A Greener Future(2/2)

Before The Flood

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