Are you searching for ways to lead a healthy lifestyle and increase your lifespan? You might be planning on cutting sugar entirely from your life or taking the gym membership in a few days, but what if I told you that Green energy could increase your lifespan.
Surprising, but yes, you read it right. Green Energy offers an efficient and reliable solution to the more complex problem of climate change, making the dream of a sustainable future a reality.
What is Green Energy?
Any category of energy derived from natural resources, i.e. Power generated by sunlight, wind, hydropower, geothermal, or biomass. It is often obtained from renewable energy sources, but not always, and the reason will be simplified later.
Different renewable technologies function in their distinctive ways. However, the key unifying factor is that they all produce Green energy, which is harmless to the environment. Our primary concern remains the release of Greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which poses a serious threat to our health. Availing Green options yield a much safer alternative.
General types of energy sources
Solar energy, wind power, and hydropower energy are the prime sources of renewable energy. Some of these sources can be used on a small-scale individual level, such as Solar panels (used at homes), while others are used on a larger, industrial scale, including Hydroelectric energy.
The numbers are compelling. Asia ranked first for contributing the largest share of renewable electricity generation worldwide. In 2019, 2,448-gigawatt hours of electricity were generated from renewable sources, while Europe ranked second.
1 Solar Power
The most widespread source of Green energy is Power generated by Solar energy, which directly utilizes the energy of sun rays. It efficiently transforms renewable energy coming from sunlight into electricity. Its affordability has made its use possible for domestic purposes. It can create enough electric energy to fulfil the total power requirements of a home, from providing light at home to operating refrigerators, computers, gadgets, and air conditioners.
2 Wind Power
To generate electricity, wind turbines are widely used that employ the energy of wind. The shining of the sun and blowing of the wind go parallel and thus, contributes to the world’s energy.
In 2021, about 51.9 % of the electricity from wind and solar sources was produced by Denmark, being the leader in this technology worldwide after that 46.7 percent of electricity was generated by Uruguay.
3 Hydroelectric Power
Relies perpetually on the water cycle system to generate electricity; it uses dams to convert the natural flow of water for energy. Energy generated greatly depends on the flow intensity of water. Pumped storage systems make use of a generator to spin and produce electricity.
A plant-originated material is utilized as a fuel to generate renewable energy, including wastes from households, offices, industries, and agricultural residues.
Since these power plants use organic wastes as a way of producing electricity and heat, they can indeed not be termed as a ‘Green energy’ source. The reason lies in the fact that during the burning process of these components, Greenhouse gases are released. It is also worth noting that the emission of such gases is still somewhat lower than from petroleum-originated fuels.
It is clear that all Green energy sources come from renewable energy sources, but not all renewable energy sources produce Green energy.
Fuel for this renewable energy source is derived from biomass immediately. Instead of burning biomass, which gives off greenhouse gases, organic components of biomass can be changed to a fuel such as biodiesel and used for transport.
During 2015-2020, biodiesel consumption increased by 1.6 million metric tons.
Why do we need Green energy?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), immense environmental benefits can be acquired by Green energy.
For the past 150 years, humans have been inter-reversibly dependent on petroleum, coal, oil, and other fossil fuels. From generating light for bulbs or turning on ovens for baking a cake to using cars as a fuel for transport or large-scale industries and various factories, we have unknowingly incorporated fossil fuels into our lives.
Even if you look around yourself, you will find many more examples. The gadget that you are using right now for reading this article is charged by the electric source coming directly from burning fossil fuels.
What is even more alarming is that burning fossil fuel releases a vast amount of Greenhouse gases, which in turn trap heat in the environment. The apparent result is historically increased levels of the average temperature of the atmosphere.
Health concerns of Climate change
Bernstein, a pediatrician at Harvard Medical School and an expert in the research of the negative influence of climate change on human health, explained that even a tiny global temperature change could prompt detrimental consequences on humans. The results include flooding, heatwave, rising sea level, interruption in the food supply, and most fundamentally, an increase in infectious diseases.
Global warming is caused by our poor and neglectful power supply choices for daily use.
Yet, the life-and-death consequences of climate change on human health include rising temperatures, rising sea levels, and increased precipitation. We will explore their effects separately.
We have all experienced increased temperatures this summer in these unprecedented times. In a process called homeostasis, the human body has an exceptional capacity to maintain constant internal temperature despite variable temperatures outside. Strictly speaking, the core internal temperature lies between 36.6 to 37.7 degrees Celsius (98-1000F).
If the internal temperature reaches 40.50C, the body fails to manage the temperature controlling system, resulting in increased heat, causing heatstroke. Threatening complications are imposed on the cardiovascular, central nervous, and main respiratory systems, ultimately leading to mortality.
Heat waves introduce serious hurdles to all those who work outdoors, whether it’s a delivery boy who has to deliver pizza at the given address or an athlete who has to practice for the next Olympics. The construction workers and farmers are affected the most during extended heat waves.
Older citizens are at a higher risk of suffering from heat waves, given their weaker thermoregulatory mechanism and limited mobility. They are more prone to diseases due to more vulnerable immune systems. Individuals with pre-existing health concerns like asthma, diabetes, and blood pressure, have reduced capacity to adapt to the changing climate conditions.
Increased temperatures are directly connected to increased cases of bacteria-related food poisoning, specifically Salmonella. It is a well-known fact that warmer environments contribute to exponential bacterial growth. These diseases further cause gastrointestinal illnesses and, in severe cases, death.
Rising sea levels
Global warming causes the melting of ice and subsequent thermal expansion, which directly raises sea levels. The disturbingly accelerated rate of melting of glaciers is altering global temperatures.
Besides contamination of soil and seawater with salt and pollutants and damage to coastal areas, the chief problem of rising sea levels is the increased chance of flooding. Flooding destroys crops and compromises the food population, and injuries and kills people while damaging their homes.
At the same time, businesses are affected, schools are forced to close, and hospital services become unavailable due to the lack of transport facilities. Flood water also contaminates clean drinking water causing diarrhea and bacterial infections like cholera. A significant challenge is the distribution of food during flooding.
In 2020, Indonesia experienced around 1.1 thousand floods. The numbers increased to 1.8 thousand in 2021.
When the amount of water and ocean vapour increases as a result of global warming, the atmosphere becomes fully saturated. More moisture is held with warmer air, resulting in extreme precipitation and initiating severe rain and snow storms.
Extensive hazards are directly linked to increased precipitation, including crop damage, landslide, and impact humans by gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases. People are more exposed to waterborne pathogens, which are not limited to viruses, bacteria, and parasites such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, reducing life expectancies. Harmful algal toxins in water pose serious threats when accumulated during heavy rains.
Is it possible to overcome these consequences?
Certainly, Green Energy is a ray of hope for all of us. While it promises to reduce carbon emissions, it is proven to put an end to the environmental harm created by humans in the first place.
Every day the sun appears and provides a green energy source while the wind and water contribute in their ways. The lack of awareness leads us to take these renewable sources for granted.
With zero carbon footprint, Green energy provides a safer, readily available, and more environmentally-friendly alternative to the use of fossil fuels. There are numerous examples of green energy being used nowadays. Investigations on different green solutions are on the way to a promising future.
Locally, for buildings of large block offices or homes, solar water heaters or heat from geothermal provides various renewable heating systems. In the same way, renewable electricity and biofuels provide advanced transport options using green energy. For large-scale industries, hydrogen is the primary source of renewable energy.
We can completely replace the consumption of fossil fuels by combining multiple green energy sources to fulfil our daily requirements.
Our energy choices determine our living conditions. The seasonal circumstances are changing like never before. While these may catch you off guard, you are left with no other option than to review your lifestyle and opt for more Green options.
The chronic exposure to the effects of climate change on the human body, which includes the affected immune system, digestive system, respiratory system, and reproductive system, can be reduced mainly by opting for green energy solutions. It will improve the environment and lead to a more sustainable future and increase your lifespan, making you live a happy and healthy life.