Save Your Energy!

Building Sustainable Technology

Throughout history, technology has been used to solve problems and make our lives better. For example, some technologies have enabled us to heat our homes with solar power or to drive cars that do not rely on fossil fuels. But today, many technologies contribute to climate change. As we look to the future, what can we do to make sure that the technology we use at home, school, and in our communities is safe, fair, and sustainable? We have to rethink how we design and make new tech, how we use it, and how we dispose of it when we don’t want it anymore. What can we do to save our energy?

Design and build new sustainable technologies for your home, school, or community that take into account safety, fairness, affordability, and environmental impact in the way they are made, used, and disposed. Consider solving problems in technologies for communication, transportation, education, entertainment, healthcare, travel, and food systems.

Resources for Educators and Students

CHM Minecraft Educator Resource Guide

CHM Minecraft Student Resource Guide (or download the PDF)

More Sustainable Technology Stories From CHM

Formula E: Electric Race Cars and Sustainability

Formula E represents a vision for the future of the motor industry over the coming decades, serving as a framework for research and development around the electric vehicle, accelerating general interest in these cars, and promoting sustainability. Formula E Chief Executive Officer Alejandro Agag views the R&D of electric racing cars as a catalyst for the development of tomorrow’s clean city cars and is determined to revolutionize the world of clean mobility on the racetrack, city streets, and consumer markets.

Viewing time: 1:06:00 (total)

Key sections: 3:465:40 (vision for electric race cars to promote sustainability); 17:0619:13 (engineering and battery challenges); 31:4237:54 (sustainability innovations for roads and cities

Drive the Future

Mining More Than Data

Devices like the Amazon Echo are designed to look clean and fresh. But what is their ecological and human toll? AI expert Kate Crawford explains the hidden costs of artificial intelligence and the tech devices that use it, including issues like environmental degradation, labor practices, privacy issues, and waste disposal.

Reading time: 12 minutes

Mining More Than Data

Where To? A History of Autonomous Vehicles

With dreams of transforming energy and accessibility, the effort to bring self-driving cars to the general public has taken nearly a century. Such cars remained perpetually “two decades away” from the 1930s until the last few years, when several companies claimed to be on the verge of a breakthrough. Meanwhile, autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles have conquered the air, sea, and space. Today, they harvest our breakfast cereal and move boxes in warehouses. “Where to Next?” explores some of the questions in “Where To?” around sustainability, equity, and the environment.

Reading time: 20 minutes each

Where To? A History of Autonomous Vehicles

Where to Next?

Cleanrooms and Dirty Water: The Environmental Legacy of Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley, a dynamic center of tech innovation for decades, once had more Superfund sites than any other region in the United States. Christophe Lécuyer, professor of the history of science and technology at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris, explores how semiconductor firms caused this environmental debacle and how the region’s health and water contamination crises came to light in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The result was a revolution in safety and a large-scale environmental cleanup.

Viewing time: 1:13:00 (total)

Key sections: 3:23-6:59 (negative impact of industry on environment and workers); 9:31-19:35 (culture of negligence); 37:25-44:50 (water contamination); 50:10-1:01:00 (environmental cleanup)

Cleanrooms and Dirty Water

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