We would never tell you not to fear climate change. It's one of the only serious existential threats that humans face, along with nuclear weapons, pandemics, and an asteroid hitting the earth. Unfortunately, the IPCC says we only have until 2050 at the latest to reach net zero emissions.
However, it's not all doom and gloom. Fortunately, there has been substantial progress flying under the radar recently. Let's talk about some recent eco-friendly innovations to help ease your climate anxiety and develop a better outlook for the future of our planet!
Improved Clean Energy Technology
Solar and wind have come a long way in recent years. The cost of solar panels has dropped by 90% in the last decade alone.
Think about that. A status symbol of 15 years ago is now one of the cheapest energy systems available.
Moreover, wind turbines are becoming more economical as well. What used to cost $1800 per kW now only costs $770 to $850.
Of course, the recent news about nuclear fusion is promising! While it won't be available at the scale we need it any time soon, it does show that humans can have a sustainable energy source throughout the remainder of our time on earth. That could be a reality within the century!
More importantly, we are now developing the systems we need to store this energy. Battery technology is only improving, and it's not just lithium. Scientists are even looking into common salt and sand for possible grid-scale energy storage.
Even better, the US now subsidizes these green fixtures. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act passed in August 2022; the US now offers a 30% rebate for new home solar panel and fuel cell installations!
Overall, if we can manage to upgrade our power lines, we could feasibly make renewables the majority of electricity in the US in a matter of years. That would be an unprecedented step in the right direction!
Eco-Friendly Home Appliances
The government also offers a 30% federal tax rebate on heat pumps. These are some of the greatest eco-friendly inventions that you may have never heard of!
Heat pumps work both ways. They can heat and air condition your home with unprecedented efficiency. Heat pumps are even more environmentally friendly than wood stoves or pellet stoves, which is saying something!
Moreover, they operate at 3x the efficiency of electric resistance heat. This is because they don't generate heat at all. They move it.
That's right, even in the coldest winter, heat pumps can trap heat from the air outside, isolate it, condense it, and pump it into your home. Conversely, they can do the opposite during the summer to cool down your home.
On top of that, there are plenty of other energy-efficient appliances entering the market. Everything from stoves to water heaters have seen promising improvements in recent years. This progress is saving homeowners money on their energy bills and helping keep our planet safe!
Household emissions weren't the only thing tackled in the Inflation Reduction Act. Electric vehicles and their supporting infrastructure are becoming more common by the day, and the federal government will subsidize much of it over the coming decade. This is making eco-friendly transportation much more attainable for the average consumer.
However, we still have a long way to go in making clean and sustainable public transportation at the scale that we need it. Fortunately, we are seeing important steps toward these goals, especially at the state and local levels across the US.
Moreover, major airlines continue to work toward reducing their emissions. Electric planes may even be inevitable at this point of development, which is quite exciting!
Sustainable Restaurant Supplies
Even one person making the switch from using plastic or styrofoam cups to reusable ones can save 365 wasted cups every year. When businesses start to make that switch, that's multiplied by their thousands of potential customers.
Fortunately, there are plenty of environmentally friendly takeout containers, cutlery, and more for restaurants to choose from. This can help reduce our waste by a substantial margin in a short amount of time.
The best news is that this switch won't have to break the bank. You can order eco-friendly food containers for comparable prices to harmful ones at the scale you need. Reducing waste at the source is always the best solution for the environment.
However, that's not all. You can also get:
- Wood or compostable cutlery
- Paper takeout bags
- Paper straws
- Wood stirrers
- Compostable bowls or plates
- Recycled napkins
The list goes on. With more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans, the responsibility falls on all of us to reduce our waste. The problem is already affecting our health and killing off species en masse.
Also, you can boast to your customers about your improved sustainability! This is especially beneficial for reaching younger demographics. Did you know that more than half of Gen Z actively chooses brands that align with their values?
Ease Your Climate Anxiety, But Not Too Much
Let's put it this way; climate anxiety is more than justified, but there are still many reasons for hope. It's no longer a matter of if we will reach net zero, but when. That's a sharp difference from recent years.
Still, we cannot become complacent, as there is still much more needed to be done to prevent the worst effects of climate change.
Stay up to date with our latest tips for your business, and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or for help with your environmental strategy!