Exploros_logo

How Technology Can Harm the Environment

Many technologies can harm the environment:

  • Pollution - Air, water, heat and noise pollution can all be caused by producing and using technology.
  • Consuming resources - Non-renewable resources, including precious metals like gold, are used to make technology. Many others, such as coal, are consumed to generate the electricity to use technology. Even resources like water can become contaminated during manufacturing of technology.
  • Waste - Manufacturing technology creates large amounts of waste, and used electronics get thrown out.
  • Disrupting ecology - Clearing land where animals used to live to build factories can greatly affect the environment's natural cycles.
  • Health hazards - Using toxic materials that can harm our health can cause cancer, and technology addiction can lead to other health problems like obesity and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carbon Emissions

Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are greenhouse gasses that are produced by people. Greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere trap and reflect heat and radiation back to the planet's surface and contribute to global warming.

Carbon emissions get released into the atmosphere from cars, airplanes, power plants and factories. They also get released by burning fossil fuels to create energy.

Toxic Technotrash

Technotrash, also called electronic waste or e-waste, is any broken or unwanted electrical or electronic device, and is currently the most rapidly-growing type of waste.

Technotrash thrown out with the regular trash usually ends up in a landfill. Most electronics contain non-biodegradable materials, and heavy metals and toxic materials that can leak into the ground. They can contaminate the water we drink, the plants we eat, and the animals that live around the area. These toxic materials can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and even cancer.


Source: How Technology Can Harm the Environment
Copyright © 2020 Carnegie Mellon University

Back to top