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5 Ways to Reconcile Technology with Nature

As the human population continues to increase, the 20th century business model of blindly depleting the Earth’s resources and massacring its natural assets for the sake of convenience and currency has given rise to many severe consequences that future generations will have to face, and that current generations are already witnessing unfold. What will we do when we’ve filled the land with plastic— a toxic substance that virtually never goes away? What will we do when we’ve destroyed entire ecosystems such as the Amazon rainforest for the sole purpose of harvesting wood or raising cattle? What will we do when there is so much pollution in the air that we struggle to breathe? Are we prepared to handle the extreme weather events that are guaranteed to increase in both frequency and severity as the Earth’s atmosphere continues to warm?

We’re tempted to blame someone, something, or some societal phenomenon for these issues, and the rapid progression of technology often arises as the core culprit. Many technological advances in the corporate world over the past century or so have been at the expense of the natural world— a world that we come from, can't live without, and return to at the end of our lives. Does this mean we should have stayed in the jungle instead of eating the forbidden fruit of curiosity that gave rise to agriculture and ultimately civilization? Perhaps not. I’m interested in finding a way to save the earth while still reaping the benefits of the industrial and digital revolutions. Here are some ways I’ve thought of for us to help reconcile technology with nature.

1. Invest in renewable energy

You may have heard this a million times before, but transitioning to renewable energy from fossil fuels really is the most important step to reverse the effects of climate change. This responsibility may ultimately rest in the hands of the fossil fuel industry and our legislators, but we can make an impact too. New advancements in clean energy have made it more affordable than ever. Solar tends to be the best choice for consumers. You can buy solar panels and have them installed somewhere around or on your house, but also keep an eye out for new technology such as Tesla’s solar roofs and battery ( These are cheaper than you might think, and will of course continue to pay for themselves down the road. Finally, If you invest in the stock market, try to buy shares in corporations that produce and use renewable energy. These companies depend on their shareholders.

Check out this website my classmates and I created last year to help guide you through greener energy choices:

2. Explore the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things refers to the revolution of smart products in our homes that connect to the internet. This includes Amazon’s personal assistant Alexa, and a wide variety of other cool and useful products. Some of these can actually help reduce your resource consumption while adding convenience to your life. The Nest thermostat learns when you’re too hot or too cold, or when you’re away and don’t need to have the air conditioning on. It automatically adjusts to save you money and energy. Phillips Hue light bulbs are super-efficient LED’s, but also connect to your WiFi and can turn off automatically when you’re not home.

Take a look at what’s out ther