Contributed by Herman Davis
Time is running out! The act of simply existing requires three main ingredients; water, oxygen and, energy.
In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to worry about losing these elements for another 10 billion years.
In our imperfect world, we are exhausting or polluting them at an alarming rate.
And without natural resources—the required ingredients—life on earth could not continue. It would become extinct.
What do I mean by natural resources?
- Air, water, soil, and all it contains.
- Biological resources like plants and animals.
- Space and land that give us the ability to live in a safe environment.
We can place natural resources into groupings of renewable, flow, and non-renewable resources.
Agricultural crops are examples of renewable resources. We can harvest them and plant seeds to produce a new crop. Flow resources, like wind, tide, or solar power, replenish themselves without human intervention. Oil and natural gas are not renewable. When we’ve burned it all, there can never be any more.
Although these categories may not seem important at first, they’re vital to our well-being. In other words, if we continue to overlook these complications, our very own existence could be at stake.
It’s important to take a stance and help preserve our natural resources for the future generations to come.
Things to keep in mind before the clock ticks to zero
Wasting water is one of the biggest ways individuals impact the health of the planet.
That being said, with more and more areas facing droughts, water conservation is more important than ever.
Even if you don’t live in a drought-stricken community, cutting back on water will still help conserve what some may argue is the most important natural resource known to Earth.
To help conserve water, you can:
- Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth or wash your hands.
- Fix leaks around your house or if you’re renting, let the landlord know as soon as possible.
- Cut back on shower time.
- Take your car to a professional car wash where recycled water is used as opposed to doing it at home.
- Not run the dishwasher or washing machine until they’re full.
Air and Climate
Declining air quality and climate change adversely effect both the natural ecosystem and human health.
Carbon monoxide, for example, is a deadly, odorless, colorless, poisonous gas. It harms the earth’s ability to sustain life, but it easily preventable. Communities can help preserve air quality by limiting or eliminating the discharge of harmful chemicals into the air.
You can most effectively help cut back on releasing poisonous gas into the air by simply reducing how much you drive your vehicle. Instead, come up with alternatives like riding a bike, walking, or carpooling with someone.
Our communities oftentimes rely on non-renewable sources of electricity for our homes and workplaces. Energy conservation along with the use of renewable fuels provides cost-effective and sustainable alternatives.
In the home environment, most energy usage goes towards heating and cooling according to Family Education. But we also use a lot of gadgets. Many of them continue to suck energy even when we turn them off.
Common energy vampires to watch out for:
- Televisions (plasma & LCD)
- Video game consoles such as PlayStations and Xboxes.
- Home theater systems and cable boxes.
- Desktop computers and printers.
- Routers and modems
Waste Less, Recycle More
Household items like glass bottles, gift papers, cans, etc., can be recycled. Industrial waste and hazardous household wastes contain toxic chemicals. They harm the environment and human health if we don’t properly dispose of them.
Know what they are and find substitutes for toxic materials where you can. Otherwise, take them to your household hazardous waste disposal site. Even when it comes to non-hazardous wastes, reduce, reuse, and recycle (in that order).
By way of example, recycling and composting prevented disposal of 87.2 million tons of material in 2013, up from 15 million tons in 1980.
As a final point, diverting these materials from landfills, helped prevent release of approximately 186 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air in 2013. That’s equivalent to taking 39 million vehicles off the road for a year.
Let’s get out there and make a difference.
Thank you again for taking time out of your day to read my article. I would like to know, do have any tips for individuals who are trying to conserve on natural resources? I will be checking for comments, so feel free to express your thoughts on today’s article.
Herman Davis enjoys being active and finds any excuse to outside and explore the outdoors. If you can’t catch him online, you might be able to catch him working out at the gym, or cheering on the Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at @Davis241. Thanks!