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Resource conservation

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There are ample instances where industrial growth, burgeoning population and a variety of other human activities have easily disrupted the ecological balance. Today conservation of natural resources broadly encompasses preservation of the earth, preservation of mankind. The problems of non-renewable resources such as coal and oil are particularly complex as we are fast running out of these resources.

Not only are we depleting natural resources at tremendous speed but by doing so we are also harming the environment. Not only are we depleting natural resources at tremendous speed but by doing so we are also harming the environment. But we have at our disposal several alternative energy resources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric and tidal which will not only help save dwindling resources but also cause little harm to the environment.

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[edit] National Conservation Policies

Each nation has different conservation policy. There are protected areas and prohibition on misusing resources which are threatened. In Equador 38 percent of the land is protected and in Luxembourg 44 percent. In the US 7 percent of the land is protected whereas in nations like Iraq, Cambodia, and the republics of the former Soviet Union there are no protected areas. Plants and animals have been protected through various restrictions. Endangered species have been protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace and other organizations also have been active in promoting conservation internationally. See details on Endangered Species [1]

The aim of conservation of natural resources, including wildlife, water, air, and earth deposits and of renewable resources like trees and fossil fuels is to ensure that they are not consumed faster than they can be replaced and that sufficient quantities are maintained for future generations to utilize.

Natural resources are often classified into renewable and non-renewable resources.

[edit] Non-Renewable Resources

Non-renewable resources are those natural resources that cannot be replaced once they are used up. Some examples include:

•oil

• coal

• gas

• uranium

Much of our energy supply comes from coal, oil, natural gas, or radioactive elements. In fact, the world's natural gas, crude oil and coal deposits took millions of years to form. Uranium has limited supply as well. According to rough estimates, the way things are going most of these deposits will be used up in less than 200 years. Once exhausted, supply of non-renewable energy cannot be replaced within human time scales.

[edit] Renewable Resources

Renewable resources are resources that can be replaced as they are used up. Some examples include:

• soil

• air

• water

• wood

• sunlight

Renewable energy can be replaced because it comes from sunlight, wind, or water and can be collected with special collectors. After collecting we can use this energy in our homes and businesses. As long as sunlight, water and wind are there and trees and other plants continue to grow, we will always have enough supply of these energy forms. Refer to Energy Sources [2] for detailed information on all forms of renewable and non renewable energy sources.

[edit] What We Can Do to Make a Difference

Petroleum is the most used energy resource and need our maximum efforts to restrict its use. Some car manufacturers are bringing out [electric vehicles] which may help preserve the world’s petrol reserve a little longer. Optimal usage of solar power needs to be explored. Solar, wind, hydroelectric and tidal power produce energy which cause little harm to the environment.

There are several areas where we can look into and take steps to reduce wastage of valuable resources
In the Home

• Avoid water wastage

• Adopt energy-efficient appliances, fixtures, and other home equipment and products to save electricity

• Use low-flow faucets in your showers and sinks.

• Use water-saving lavatories in toilets

• Keep your hot water tank temperature to 120 degrees.

• Reduce heat loss by insulating your water heater and all water pipes.

Some energy efficiency measures you can adopt during remodeling, building, or buying a new home:

• Install a solar thermal system for providing hot water if you live in a sunny climate. This brings down carbon dioxide emissions by 720 pounds a year. A solar photovoltaic system may also be installed to generate electricity.

• Cut down on your travel distance by choosing a home near your place of work.

• Take advantage of energy efficient mortgages and loans to make improvements that will save you money.

At the store

• Recycle aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic, cardboard, and newspapers.

• Buy food and other products with reusable or recyclable packaging, or reduced packaging, to save the energy required to manufacture new containers.

• Buy products made of recycled content, such as recycled paper for your computer printer.

In the yard

• Plant trees around your home. The tree shades can reduce your energy consumption. In addition to energy savings, another benefit is that trees store ("sequester") carbon during photosynthesis and can remove 50 pounds of carbon in a year. Design your yard for xeriscaping (plants that require little watering).

• Use a composting lawnmower. Composting yard waste on site reduces the waste stream sent to your community's landfill, and landfills generate a potent gas called "methane" that adds to global warming. Use a push mower instead of a power mower.

On the road

• Make combined trips for errands in order to make less use of your car.

• Consider alternative modes of transportation such as buses, bicycling or walking to work or for errands.

• Keep your car tuned up and its tires properly inflated to save on fuel costs.

• Leaving your car at home and using a carpool just two days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds per year.

• Telecommute to work, consider "flexiplace" options.

• If you plan to buy a new vehicle go for one that gives more miles to the gallon than your current vehicle.

10 Ways for Consumers to Prevent Pollution, Conserve Resources and Save Money [3]



REFERENCES:

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