Silver has numerous important applications that help our environment. By replacing our need for harsh chemicals and reducing the amount of energy we use, silver can help us decrease the size of our “footprint” on the environment.
One main use of silver in green technologies is its role in solar energy production. Silver is the main ingredient in photovoltaic cells, the solar panels used to transform natural sunlight into power. It is also used to reflect light to run generators. The addition of silver to windows reduces up to 95% of the sunlight transmitted indoors, thereby allowing residents to save on energy costs.
The use of silver in nanotechnology is a growing area of interest. The idea is simple: when silver is added to fabrics, appliances, carpets and air purifiers, it acts as a sterilizer, killing harmful bacteria that otherwise would have had to be treated with harsh chemicals. By reducing our reliance on potentially toxic substances, silver in nanotechnology is a major victory for green technology.