Sustainable Design for a Green Tomorrow

By Gee, Ralph; Kelley, Todd R. | Technology and Children, May 2010 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Sustainable Design for a Green Tomorrow

Gee, Ralph, Kelley, Todd R., Technology and Children


The naturalist Henry David Thoreau once wondered, "What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" Sustainable design, Green technology, and environmentally friendly are terms used interchangeably to try to describe the process of designing more responsibly in order to reduce negative impacts on our environment. Asking children to try to think about Green technology and the impacts of technology on the environment may seem a daunting task, but it can be accomplished with proper resources that are kid-friendly. Speaking of resources, try out this one.


The current Green technology trend has roots in the nature and conservation movements and incorporates new technologies to achieve sustainability.


But, what is sustainability? Sustainability is the process of maintaining or prolonging. For those interested in the Green technology movement, this means that we need to design technology that preserves the Earth's resources and provides a quality environment for future generations. Green technology also requires us to pollute less, create less waste (or none at all), and be more mindful of our energy consumption; these are goals that need to be achieved quickly, and sometimes this comes by locating alternative means to deal with these issues.

Today, we are inundated with information about climate change, pollution, oil and food prices, jobs, overspending, and countless other issues from mass media. Currently, technologies are being designed to solve these problems. There is an imperative to educate all the children of this planet, challenging them to think of these global issues and to brainstorm possible solutions so they can become change agents as they become adults. There are many things educators can do to stimulate children's minds in this area. Activities like mulching, gardening in school common areas, and recycling are a good start. One important issue raised by Green technology is to create Green buildings--buildings that no longer contribute to wasted energy and pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that buildings account for 39 percent of total energy usage, 12 percent of water usage, 68 percent of electricity usage, and produce 38 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. Buildings are where we sleep, work, and live the majority of our lives, yet buildings are often overlooked when it comes to sustainability.

sustainable design resources

Video: The PBS e2 Design series, The Economies of Being Environmentally Conscious, is an excellent resource that explores sustainable design and those who are pioneers in architecture who are trying to answer questions dealing with the environment. Each episode deals with this topic and what is being done to create lasting sustainable designs. Some examples of episodes are: "A Garden in Cairo," which talks about a 500-year-old dump transformed into a public space, and "Grey to Green," which is about the making of residential homes from recycled building materials.

How will this affect your students in the future? This series is about people who are designing buildings in use today. From New York, Chicago, and even China, sustainable design is being integrated into buildings today, with a look to the future. Chances are that, at some point, students will walk into or possibly work in one of these buildings. They might, at one point, even design their own sustainable building.

The design series has had three seasons, and now [e.sup.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Sustainable Design for a Green Tomorrow


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?