Green technology is growing around the world, but that doesn’t mean that everyone fully understands it yet. There are a lot of misconceptions out there, and while some may be mostly harmless, others are very much hurtful to the green tech industry. Here are 5 popular misunderstandings that we’re happy to banish.
1. Renewable energy is expensive
This may have been the case in the past, but not anymore. The costs of wind and solar power have been on a decline for decades, and renewable tech is now the most economical solution in almost all cases. On top of this, using non-green energy sources like coal and oil has huge costs. The impact on the environment that they have costs money to repair, and in many cases, cannot be recovered. Figures from the US suggest that electricity from coal is actually triple the price that it seems when you take these hidden costs into account.
2. We can’t get enough power from renewable energy
Actually, we can – and in plenty of locations around the world, we already are. For example, by 2012 China was already producing more energy from wind power than from coal. You can also use green tech to top up the energy that you receive from renewable sources. For example, rather than using the mains to power your chargers, you can get a charger which uses solar power for all of your devices. If you leave it in the sun, it regains charge at the same time as powering your phone or tablet. This means you don’t have to use mains power at all for your tech.
3. It’s still too small
Again, this is a myth that relates to an earlier time – people just haven’t caught up with the way that things really are. The wind power industry is fuelling well-paid jobs around the world, as are solar power and hydropower. Not only is green tech a huge part of helping the environment, but it is also boosting the economy. Green tech also tends to be produced by smaller start-up companies, which means that it is launching the careers of entrepreneurs and businesspeople around the world. With more successful businesses there is more availability for funding and investment, which means even more businesses can grow.
4. It’s only for hippies
Actually, going for green tech can often be the smartest way of doing something. Elon Musk has been developing solar shingles which he says will cost less than a normal roof, last longer, and be more durable. When you look at it that way, it seems that building a roof from conventional materials is no longer the smart thing to do. In the future it won’t just be hippies that have a solar-powered roof, but it will, in fact, be seen as ignorant not to do so. Why would you go for the option that doesn’t work as well just because it isn’t green? There are plenty of other examples where this is the case, whether the tech runs on renewable energy, is made from recyclable resources, or is built with the environment in mind at all phases.
5. Going green is just a fashion statement
Again, this is a huge misconception. Of course, there are people who like to brag about their green tech and show off how great they are for the environment. But this is far from the only reason to go green. In fact, as we explained above, it is often just the more sensible option. There are also those who genuinely do care about the environment. Let’s look at an example of leather shoes. If you wear leather shoes, or vegan leather shoes (ie, a fake leather material which does not use any animal products), then no one can tell the difference just by looking at you. This is really the opposite of a fashion statement: green tech which blends in so seamlessly you can’t even tell that it’s green.
Going green is not just good for the environment, but also for our wallets. The day is not far off when green technology is seen as the way to go, and all other types are outdated.