A sustainable future is one we all should be working towards, but often times it feels like the advancement of technology goes directly against a greener world. Luckily for us, this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are five innovative technologies of the future that have made saving the world their mission.
1. Floating Cities
As available land becomes harder to find, people are considering settling out on the open sea. Floating cities are planned on being completely self-sustainable, being built with recycled and local materials, relying on clean energy sourced from water, wind, and solar, and growing all the crops they’d need. Companies, architects, and even some governments are working together on prototypes for the first floating cities to be launched by 2020.
2. Ocean-Cleaning Net
The Ocean Cleanup is a project utilizing some amazing technology with hopes to completely clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and ideally moving on to clean other polluted areas of the ocean. The first cleanup system has already been launched and consists of a 600-meter-long floating piece that sits at the surface of the water and a tapered 3-meter-deep skirt attached which sits below, gathering all the garbage. Models predict this innovative technology could clean up the GPGP in just five years.
3. Electric Planes
The world is still learning to embrace electric cars, but there’s no doubting their efficiency. Piggybacking off those are electric planes, which are powered by a variety of sources such as batteries, fuel cells, and ultracapacitors. Launching these commercially would greatly eliminate much of the harmful pollution of present-day air travel.
4. Energy-Harvesting Floorboards
What if your floor was able to store the energy of your footsteps and convert that energy into electricity? Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been hard at work creating a floor that does just that, utilizing wood pulp that contains particular fibers that can be treated to produce electricity. These floors could easily help power lights and over low-energy utilities in households around the world.
5. Solar Roof Tiles
Roofs are some seriously underutilized territory, especially considering how much light they get on a daily basis. Enter solar roof tiles, which are exactly what they sound like – roof tiles that act as solar panels. While these most likely will come with a heavy initial financial investment, there’s no doubt that the money they save on energy costs will more than make up for it.