Although there exists a predominant belief that technology is harming the environment, today there are ways in which technology can contribute towards making a positive ecological impact.
We draw resources from nature every day and we need to do a lot more for the environment. Even at a personal level, there are various ways in which tech can make us more capable of having a positive ecological impact on the world around us. Here are some suggestions to implement them:
Use tech consciously
Most appliances come with energy efficiency ratings. The more energy-efficient an appliance is, the higher its price usually turns out to be. However, in buying appliances with lower energy efficiency to save money, you may have to shell out more money in the long run due to higher electricity bills. If the greater upfront cost is a concern for you, consider going for EMI Payments on your credit card. You can convert existing transactions to EMI, and pick a comfortable plan or avail EMI offers on e-commerce platforms.
Additionally, use state-of-the-art technology like IoT (Internet of Things) and connected technology. Most appliance and gadget manufacturers today are incorporating smart features which allow you, among other things, to remotely operate your devices. Forgot to turn off the geyser in a hurry to rush for office? Do so remotely. Wondering whether you left the AC on? Check from your smartphone. Needless to say, this has a positive environmental impact, helping avoid wastage of electric power.
We've known about solutions like rainwater harvesting, solar panels and composting, but have rarely put them into practice in everyday life. For instance, India is geographically ideal for solar power generation, with the country receiving tropical sunlight for more than 300 days a year. Despite this, the share of solar power in India’s total power generation is only 7.46% as of 2018.
While lack of awareness could be one reason why the use of solar power technology has not picked up, another factor is that these solutions are not very accessible from a monetary standpoint. For instance, a solar power setup requires a significant upfront investment for purchasing the panels, batteries and installation. For a typical 1 kW off-grid system producing 4-5 units of electric power, the benchmark cost can go as high as Rs 1 to 1.25 lakh. But you can recover that cost in about five years thanks to savings on your electricity bills. Similarly, a rainwater harvesting system requires you to build the proper pipeline and underground reservoirs, which incur an upfront installation expense and help recover it later.
Despite government subsidies and potential long-term savings, if these costs feel prohibitive, Axis Bank provides personal loans that can be availed by anyone with minimal documentation and speedy approval, for amounts between Rs 50,000 and Rs 15 lakh. The repayment tenure can range from anywhere between 12 to 60 months, giving you the freedom to repay the loan on your own terms.
The widespread use of digital payments can also benefit the environment. As studies indicate, the cost of debit card payments is significantly lower than those made with banknotes and coins. Furthermore, picking the right debit card can even get you multiple additional benefits, such as reward points, complimentary tickets and more. Taking things one step further, using apps like BHIM Axis Pay removes the need for a physical card altogether by enabling users to send and receive money easily into their accounts and pay bills online by just using their UPI IDs. It is secure, instantaneous and requires minimum effort to set up as the hassle of sharing account details or managing cash is avoided.
We need to rethink the way we travel. Carpooling is one of the best (and easiest) practices you can incorporate into your life right now. Bringing down the number of vehicles on the road will impact the environment positively and also relieve traffic congestion, particularly in urban areas. There are multiple apps to help you get started – either as a vehicle owner or as a commuter. Look for “carpooling” on leading app stores and pick the app that provides the best features. For security, certain apps allow profile verification with government IDs, and also share contact details post-booking for coordination. Other added benefits include reduced fuel costs for the car owner and comfortable transportation for commuters.
Beyond carpooling, a switch to electric vehicles may also help you take things to the next level in the future. Today, it is feasible to use an electric vehicle (EV) in urban areas thanks to their improved range. Besides regulatory support for EVs in the form of government subsidies should help in bringing down the cost of such vehicles. Currently, a large portion of electricity produced comes from fossil fuels, which makes a switch to EVs seem like an inconsequential if not harmful change. However, in the future, once renewable energy is more abundant in India, using electric vehicles could be the go-to option for convenient & pollution-free travel.
Disclaimer: This article has been authored by Siddharth Parwatay, a Mumbai based independent tech-journalist, editor, and content-creator. Axis Bank doesn't influence any views of the author in any way. Axis Bank and/or the author shall not be responsible for any direct / indirect loss or liability incurred by the reader for taking any financial decisions based on the contents and information. Please consult your financial advisor before making any financial decision.