Natural resources are those things that exist naturally within the environment and subsist relatively undisturbed in a normal and natural form. The world is blessed with diverse natural resources wealth that has helped mankind meet their daily needs for food, shelter, clothing, medicine and other important chemical elements that are vital for making useful products. Uplifting the life standards of human beings depend wholly on the wise use of the available natural resources (Phil, 2010). The primary natural resources include air, sun, forests, land, water, minerals, wildlife, and fisheries. Natural resources protection or conservation involves employing and adopting environmental protection techniques that will prohibit further destruction or unwise use of our natural resources. Studies indicate that, despite the vast significance of protecting and conserving natural resources, there are also far-reaching demerits in relation to the same. This paper is going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of conserving natural resources.
For the world to sustain future generations, the human community at large should embrace conservation of natural resources both renewable and non-renewable. Recent studies have estimated that many of the natural resource exploited by people has decreased to less than 25%, particularly oil and coal (Phil, 2010). This therefore, implies that the world cannot even support the present human population indefinitely. It should be noted that coal and oil (non-renewable resources) are one of the primary sources of energy, and without limiting and regulating exploitation of these vital natural resources then it means that, the coming generation will be deprived for these resources. In addition, in order to avoid future starvations, deaths, and conflicts over the scarce natural resources; we need to wisely use the available resources (Phil, 2010).
Human physical and industrial activities have played a big role in depleting the beauty of our environment. For instance, the agricultural activities in Egypt and Asia; burning of agricultural wastes like rice straws and garbage has led to the formation of black cloud. This is where soot, dust particles, and other lethal elements are deposited into the atmosphere polluting the air natural resource. These particles interfere with the normal environmental setting and contributing to global warming effects. Elements like nitrous oxides, methane and carbon monoxide readily combine with vapor in the atmosphere to form acidic rains. Acidic rains are responsible for corroding and destructing manmade structures, destroying plants and animals. Through good environment conservation practices, the environment will remain pure and a good habitat for all organisms (Phil, 2010).
Everything that we throw a way in the form of waste has diverse impact on degrading and destroying our natural resources. For instance, landfills have taken up valuable space and have contributed to both ground water pollution and air pollution by releasing significant amount of air pollutants like methane, and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere (Recharge Colorado, 2010). Natural resources conservation through reducing, reusing and recycling helps in decreasing household waste thus reducing landfills. In essence reducing involves manufacturing, designing, purchasing or using materials like products and packaging materials in manner that decreases the overall toxic levels of trash. On the other hand, reusing entails avoiding disposal of an item by reusing it in a similar way or devising a new way to use it (Recharge Colorado, 2010).
Recycling is another key factor in natural resources conservation, for example, items that could have been used by consumers and discarded form the raw material for manufacturing other items. Recyclable items can be recollected and redeveloped into new products that are of equal importance (Jay, et al. 2010). This reduces pressure on exploitation of natural resources thus protecting them. Nevertheless, recycling saves energy conserves natural resources like timber, water and mineral salts thereby inhibiting and preventing environmental pollution. Consequently, it provides room to preserve resources for future generations. The commonly recycled materials are; papers, yard Trimmings e.g. grass, leaves, and shrubs which are recycled through compositing, Glass, bottles and jars, Aluminum ââ‚¬” mostly beverage containers, and plastics like soda bottles, milk jugs, plastic bags and detergent containers (Jay. et al. 2010).
Energy is what drives the world economy, without energy the world will be a very different place. Electrical energy has greatly transformed various sectors such as education, manufacturing, farming, lighting and agriculture. Conserving this primary and original natural resource will provide diverse innovations and development in the world as a whole. The lighting element of energy is widely used allover the world, therefore, conserving this natural resource is of great importance. This can be done through use of compact fluorescent lamps/bulbs (CFL), which has been found to be the more appropriate way of conserving electricity as opposed to using ordinary incandescent bulbs. According to a study done in relation to this issue, it was established that, household electricity consumption in the US accounted for 9% in 2001(Keefe, 2007). Also it was established that for a given light output fluorescent tubes/bulbs use approximately 20 to 33 percent of the power consumed by incandescent lamps/ordinary bulbs (Keefe, 2007). When incandescent lamps were replaced by the fluorescent tubes the total household electricity consumption decreased form 9% to 7% (Keefe, 2007).
Raw materials, food and technology all come about as a result of exploitation of natural resources. Food industries and factories rely on the agricultural produce as their basic raw materials. For these raw materials to be available, forests and grasslands must be cleared to pave way for agricultural activities to take place. Energy, for instance, used in these industries must also be available for industries and factories to completely manufacture relevant products that help satisfying basic human needs (Phil, 2010). Fossil energy like coal and petroleum must be extensively utilized to provide the required energy. Without exploitation of these natural resources the economic development we all want will not be achieved. Exploitation of these natural resources is the sole drive for economical growth in all economies.
The learning process since time immemorial has fundamentally relied on paper. The primary source of paper is trees or forests. Without cutting these trees and processing them into paper, education sector will suffer greatly, so will other sectors that depend on paper. As Phil (2010) adds, management in almost all kinds of institutions and record keeping which are very crucial entities in smooth running of any institution rely on paper. Exploitation of these natural resources has resulted into employment opportunities, where many individuals earn their livelihood from. If exploitation of these resource is stopped, many people jobless hence jeopardizing their daily well being.
Though natural resources are scary, people still have to continue exploiting them to survive, what can be done is creating new innovative ways to exploit these resources. In deed, many US based car manufacturing companies have been forced to be more innovative to meet the needs of their customers. Instead of relying solely on cars that use petroleum as the only source of combustion energy in their combustion engines, they have devised new electrical cars that use electrical energy in their electrical engines. In relation to this, it is clear that, natural resources should be exploited to the maximum in order for persons to be innovative with regard to the prevailing situation.
In the US, Americans have turned trash or waste into a new source of opportunity. For instance the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle agencies have come up with a single most idea to conserve the environment. But letââ‚¬â„¢s view it from this perspective, if it were not for destroying and destructing the environment by throwing waste and trash, and creating more landfills, the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle program could have not been there at all. These programs have both economic and environmental benefits in the US (Recharge Colorado, 2010). It has created more employment opportunities for the US citizens.
In view of these arguments, it can be stated that though natural resource should be conserved for sustainable development, their exploitation should continue. In deed people have the ability to come up with new and better ways of using these natural resources when they understand that they are scarce.
In conclusion, conservation of natural resources is something that should be undertaken with serious consideration. In order to create a favorable environment for future economic growth in the world, we should develop strategies that promote more conservation than exploitation. On a wider view of this matter, there should be in place programs that regulate human population growth to ease pressure on the few remaining natural resources. Sustainable proper use of the existing natural resource should be encouraged by all governments to give room for both economical growth and environmental conservation (Phil, 2010).