The immense environmental impact of human civilization on earth is an undeniable fact. It’s not for nothing that there are countless movements taking place worldwide in an effort to have people collectively consume less energy, and reduce the level of power plant emissions. Such measures take place at scale in an effort to conserve natural resources while protecting fragile ecosystems from being destroyed. All efforts that are made, large or small, to reduce energy intake plays a direct role in reducing the carbon footprint of humankind, and helping to preserve the earth and its natural resources.
As difficult as it may appear, decreasing power plant emissions effectively requires individuals to cut back on energy consumption. This is due to the way power plants typically produce energy. Most power plants generate electricity by burning fossil fuels (such as coal or crude oil,) which is a cheap and relatively simple and cost-effective method. However, the by-products of the burning process include the release of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and many other gases.
Yes- carbon dioxide is naturally present in the air in small amounts, which is then absorbed by plants to create oxygen, but it’s important to know that the amount of carbon dioxide that is naturally in the air is at a balance. The output of carbon dioxide that comes from factories and power plants disturbs that balance, which results in carbon dioxide pollution. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that absorbs the sun’s warmth and keeps heat in the atmosphere, which is often dubbed the “greenhouse effect”. With power plants and numerous other sources producing millions of tons of carbon dioxide each year, the excess is trapped in the atmosphere as well, bottling up large amounts of heat.
The immense carbon emission by-products can have detrimental effects on the earth, including abnormal weather, higher sea levels, rising temperatures with droughts, heat waves (global warming), and noticeably increased occurrences of natural disasters. Humans are not the only ones affected by these negative effects. Animals and natural ecosystems of all sizes are deeply impacted due to mining and logging for fossil fuel extraction, destroying habitats on land and sea.
Incentivizing Energy Efficiency
Creating awareness of the link between humans and the consequences of their actions has been a priority for high-profile institutions all around the world in the recent years. Many aspects of our daily lives, such as how we commute, recycle and choose/use appliances have been hot topics of public discussions to bring about ways to effortlessly maximize energy efficiency at a larger scale.
It all starts with changing the $2 trillion global electricity market, which is closed and tightly controlled by a small handful of people. The setup encourages them to sell electricity at the highest possible price. There are, however, companies such as Energi Mine, that are combating this with decentralization. They are aiming to establish a platform that matches customers with smaller generators as well as rewarding them with ETK (Energi Tokens) for environmentally friendly behavior. For example, a commuter would be rewarded with ETK for using public transportation. The token could then be converted into cash or used to pay for their energy bill. Energi Mine also utilizes Deep Learning/AI models with corporate clients for more efficient service delivery, unlike the usual manual delivery. Using this model, Energi Mine would be able to reduce global energy consumption through token based incentivization.
Energi Mine is not the only project to focus on environmental sustainability. GEAR is the world’s first closed loop blockchain solution to reignite investment in green and renewable energy, through ethically mined cryptocurrencies using green energy mining facilities. They are planning on creating a self-sustaining project in the crypto space that would also invest a portion of all profits into green energy sources and renewable technologies.
The Foreseeable Future
The environmental impact on our planet is not one to be trivialized. In order for a greener and more favorable future, it is up to each of us to be aware, informed, and wiser in choosing greener options towards our activities and endeavors.