Sustainable Living: 3M FuturewiseTown PlanIntroductionGo BackEnd of section: Go to Town view3M


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Reducing our
use of carbon

Reducing carbon footprint

Use your creativity and intelligence to come up with solutions

Scientists, engineers, designers and architects are all working hard to reduce the carbon footprint of the things we buy, see and do. They are coming up with clever ways to save energy, such as:

  • Designing buildings to make more efficient use of energy.
  • Designing lighter materials for use in planes, trains and cars because lighter materials use less fuel to move.
  • Designing high-tech glues (adhesives) that can be used to hold parts of planes, trains and cars together instead of heavy, metal nuts and bolts. The adhesives absorb vibrations so are quieter. They are lighter than metal mechanical fixings so reduce fuel use.
  • Designing systems that collect wasted energy when a car or train brakes and storing it so the energy can be reused. Usually when a vehicle brakes, the kinetic energy is converted to heat and sound as the brake pads touch the wheels. But scientists have found a way to collect some of the kinetic energy that is lost in braking and store it in a battery as chemical energy to be reused.

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