Well, I dont intend to touch on or cover the conventional ideas people have about green transportation, but I was quite intrigued by two innovations that The Economist introduced in their Technology Quarterly this week. These are places you normally wont hunt when thinking about cost-savings and environmental-friendliness, but it reminds you that there are actually many areas to work on to do your part for the environment, not necessarily on the biggest or most radical of ideas like, say, using electric cars.
The first innovation is a collapsible shipping container. If this catches on, it could overhaul the way ports work, as well as alter how our port at Tanjong Pagar and West Coast look like. Made from “a fibreglass composite”, it is cheaper to produce than the normal steel containers. The weight and space / volume savings would significantly reduce transportation costs (such as the number of ships used to transport the crates, the amount of fossil fuels used for the ships) which would then help reduce the environmental impact of shipping and trade. Treehugger has more details regarding this innovation.
The second innovation focuses on the wheels of vehicles and how they can be made more in more environmentally-friendly means as well as make driving more environmentally-friendly. The material used to make the tyres are now being modified to either increase fuel economy of the vehicles they are mounted on or to make the production of tyres greener.
Small improvements and advancements in terms of technology, but we need all these little contributions to “business as usual” by the private sector if governments are unwilling or unable to carry out the sweeping reforms necessary.