Out and About

Environmental problems have arisen primarily because of inappropriate decisions and a lack of understanding of the impact of these decisions upon the environment. An integrated process was required to build value relation between humans and their surroundings. Ecological engineering or eco-technology is an example of such an integrated approach. Though it sounds somewhat science fiction, eco-technology is a very real option and modern. It operates within the borders of the ecosystem rather than flouting or disregarding or overcoming or overpowering it.


It is the combination of novel technologies and development which must function simultaneously in order to realize social, economic and environmental benefits. Therefore ecotechnology is a hybrid system with a non-living part that is designed by humans and a living part (the ecosystem) that self-designs.

Also while interacting with the scientists of ICAR-CRCR on bio-fortified varieties, Padma Vibhusan Prof. M.S. Swami Nathan said the eco-technologies like bio-fertilizers, biopesticides, and biocontrol agents should be treated as biological software for sustainable agricultural development.

Humans of Eco-technology

SuperTrees – Gardens by the Bay Singapore is actively trying to decrease their carbon footprint through the very amazing project known as the Gardens by the Bay. Situated in the heavily built-up Marina Bay area of Singapore, 11 of the 18 trees are embedded with environmentally sustainable functions like photovoltaic cells to harvest solar energy. Plus, over 162,900 plants comprising more than 200 species are planted on the “living skin” of the trees and these are watered using a unique reservoir system that collects rainwater. This reservoir collects enough rainfall to feed the parkland, the huge greenhouses, and the surrounding water fountains.

Cloning – Dolly Cloning techniques have an average success rate of less than 5 percent in domestic animals and less than 1 percent in wild. However, the organizations hope that the DNA in these specimens will improve breeding and cloning as a whole. After all, Dolly the sheep was only born in 1996, meaning the technology is still relatively new. The ambition is for scientists to be able to save endangered or soon-to-be-extinct species by cloning them.

Applied Sciences

Obsolete Paper: In India alone, more than 100 million newspapers are sold each weekday. Electronic Paper is today’s tool. It a flexible display that looks very much like real paper but can be reused over and over. The display contains many tiny microcapsules filled with particles that carry electric charges bonded to a steel foil. Each microcapsule has white and black particles that are associated with either a positive or negative charge.

Root Protection: As it is said that instead of planting a million trees, we should do better planting far fewer in the proper soil conditions. The average street tree is living for less than 20 years in India. Silva Cells are essentially a post-and-beam system that transfers a load of urban infrastructure from trees’ root zones to the soil below. This means that the soil in which the trees are growing can be less compacted, letting roots grow better and allowing trees to live long enough to create an urban forest
that can reduce stormwater runoff, boost energy efficiency in nearby buildings and suck pollutants from the air.

Salt Removal: According to the United Nations, water supply shortages will affect billions of people by the middle of this century. Desalination, basically removing the salt and minerals out of seawater, is one way to provide potable water in parts of the world where supplies are limited. The problem with this technology is that it is expensive and uses a lot of energy. Scientists are working toward better processes where inexpensive fuels can heat and evaporate the water before running it through membranes with microscopic pores to increase efficiency.

Bio-Sanitizer: A novel eco-friendly eco-sanitation product, Biosanitizer, has been developed by the Bhawalkar Ecological Research Institute, Pune. Biosanitizer is a naturally produced catalyst that continues to produce the need-based amount of active oxygen and drives eco-logical reactions that clean polluted water (surface water, groundwater, and wastewater). This oxygen-rich water also becomes a resource for eco-sanitation. It can be sprayed to sanitize soil, garbage heaps, medical waste, and animal carcasses. The spraying also controls odor, pathogens, and pests such as mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, and rats.

Conclusion

Eco-technological systems can be developed and operated in combination with conventional systems to improve the performance of the latter. As such, they will only improve the efficiency of existing systems by sharing the load. Industrial units and government bodies all over the world have put various systems in place for the effective functioning of these technologies at the local level. Never in the recent past has environmental sustainability of our activities been emphasized as much as it is today. This clearly indicates that ecotechnology is here to stay. Moreover, India, with its glorious history of human beings living in harmony with nature, can and should play a pioneering role.

(Written by Aashi for The Connectere)

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