Using clean, renewable alternatives
Many of our technologies do harm. We need to reinvent technologies, technical processes and practices to use less resources and ensure that all resources are clean, renewable and do no harm.
There are many sustainable resources and uses available that are not generally implemented because of a number of reasons including cost, market resistance, lack of information and lack of support.
In nearly every area there are clean, renewable alternatives, some examples are:
- Electricity: solar, biomass, wind, marine, hydro, geothermal
- Liquid and gas fuels: biomass, recycling and waste streams
- Heat: geothermal, solar, recycling and waste streams (heat recovery)
- Transport: electric scooters, cars, buses and trains
- Industry: electric motors
- Water heating: solar, electric heat pump
- Space heating: heat pumps, low emission wood burners
Alternative processes and practices
There are a multitude of alternative, innovative processes and practices which are sustainable across the whole spectrum of human activities including such diverse things as passive solar design, rainwater collection, organic farming and using public transport.
Design has been described as the ‘mediator’ between technology and people. As such, the way that businesses use design is crucial to the way that people can be more sustainable. Read more about Design for Sustainability»
As well as using renewable resources there are many potential sustainable process innovations for businesses. Perhaps the most important being closed-loop resourcing – which is basically when material outputs (products and waste) later become the businesses’ material inputs and effectively closing the resource loop. Associated to this is the concept of ‘service products’. A simple example of this might be when a customer buys heat from a business – rather than a heater. The benefits are that the customer gets what he wants – heat – and the business can manage their products most effectively and efficiently. Read more about Sustainable Business»