Humans are tool makers. It’s one of the main characteristics that define us as a species. We’ve learned how to take resources from our natural environment and transform them into the objects, materials, and machines we use to feed, clothe, protect, transport and entertain ourselves – and enhance our experience of being alive.
That’s freaking amazing!
But all too often, the tools we create and the processes we use to create them end up causing new and unforeseen problems that need solving. And then THOSE solutions cause new problems, and so on.
(Obvious case in point: climate change.)
Right now, the materials and processes we use to make our tools – our clothes, appliances, homes, electronics, roads, vehicles, gadgets and more – emit massive amounts of greenhouse gases and other ecosystem-destroying pollutants into the environment.
For example: cement alone is responsible for 8% of the world’s total carbon emissions and scientists say there are 171 trillion plastic particles polluting the ocean.
To create a world in which we’re able to live in greater harmony with nature and mitigate or even avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we’re going to have to rethink how to make our tools and materials in ways that don’t pollute the environment or add more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. The good news is, scientists, engineers, companies, and organizations all over the world are working on developing many different types of zero-carbon and biodegradable materials that we could use to build the future we dream of.
(Spoiler: the future is fungal and everything’s coming up seaweed!)
Others are figuring out how to create fully recyclable, repairable, modular tech solutions that will actually allow us to have our high-tech cakes and eat them, too.
That’s the cool thing about our possible future: our choices AREN’T the false dichotomy of “live in tech-enslaved, over-polluted hell-hole devoid of nature” or “abandon our high-tech ways and live off the earth à la the Dark Ages.” We can live in greater harmony with nature AND still enjoy the benefits of technology. That future is 100% possible IF we envision it, plan for it, and work to make it happen.
Here are some of the Awesome Tools topics to consider as we create our shared vision of what our future could look like. Which ideas would you love to incorporate in YOUR Awesome Future?
If you know of an Awesome Tools topic we should be covering at Our Awesome Future, please send us a tip! Email email@example.com with your suggestions.