Helping the Environment By Reducing Resource Consumption [Impacts & Methods]
Although not readily apparent, conserving the earth’s natural resources benefit the environment. When we conserve resources, such as fossil fuels, we delay their depletion. This ensures that future generations will have some left for their use. Moreover, resource conservation also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This lowers air pollution and mitigates the impact of climate change.
How Do Natural Resources Help The Environment?
Natural resources are things in nature that we use for our needs. These include water, air, soil, plants, animals, and fossil fuels. We may utilize the resources directly or extract materials that help in our survival and comfort.
Aside from helping humans, natural resources also assist the environment in so many ways. Let’s look at the benefits some of these resources offer Mother Nature.
The term forest refers to a vast expanse covered with trees. All continents, except for Antarctica, have forests. These may be evergreen-filled or consist of mangroves, such as the case in tropical wetlands. The existence of forests offers the following advantages to the environment.
- The earth’s forests shade the ground: The foliage and leaf litter prevent the soil from drying up, helping it nourish new plant growth.
- Mitigates global warming: The plants and trees capture carbon emissions that will otherwise retain heat in the atmosphere and warm the planet.
- Habitat for plants and wildlife: The world’s forests serve as home to over two-thirds of all known land species. Tropical rainforests, in particular, are rich in biodiversity.
Soil is where seeds germinate and grow into trees and plants. Without soil, most land species won’t exist. Let’s see how the soil aids Mother Nature in nurturing the environment.
- Soil gives plants and trees a place to grow: The nutrients, water, and heat in the soil enable plants and trees to reach maturity. In turn, these trees and plants merge with other organisms to form ecosystems.
- Helps cleanse the water resources: Soil filters the water. The process aids in removing the impurities that get into the groundwater.
How Can Resource Conservation Benefit The Environment?
Reducing the rate we consume the planet’s natural resources makes a significant impact on the environment. For starters, by conserving resources, we help ensure that the earth’s store will be available for future generations. In addition, we lessen the waste materials that end up in our landfills.
Here are other ways conserving the world’s natural resources benefits the planet.
Delay climate change
The burning of fossil fuels, such as oil, coal, or natural gas, releases greenhouse gases into the air. Greenhouse gas emissions harm the environment in two ways. One, these gases cause pollution, and two, they trap heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming.
When we reduce energy usage, we also lessen the need to burn fossil fuels. As such, we help hold back the planet’s warming trends.
Preserve the ecosystem
Power plants release toxic fumes and particulates into the air while generating electricity. These fumes and particles harm both humans and animals. Moreover, harvesting the fossil fuels buried underneath the earth’s surface destroys land and ocean habitats. This wreaks havoc on the ecosystem. Reducing electricity use will lower the demand for fossil fuels and the mining activity associated with the extraction of these fuels.
Promote a healthier environment
Aside from releasing toxic fumes, power plants also create a lot of noise. This noise can cause stress to residents in the area, both animals and humans. The need for more energy leads to the construction of more power plants. On the other hand, lower energy demand reduces the urgency to build more of these plants.
Multiple Resource Conservation Methods
Fortunately, plenty of ways to conserve resources exist. Some can be challenging, while most can be achieved with minor adjustments to our lifestyle. If you want to help the planet, even taking small steps can do a world of good.
We waste a significant amount of water as we do our daily chores. Making small changes in how we go about our tasks can help conserve our rapidly dwindling resources.
Use Dishwasher and Washing Machine Effectively
Running your dishwasher or washer with half a load wastes plenty of water. To reduce water usage, always use these appliances with a full load. Another way to conserve resources is by using cold water as often as possible to reduce electricity use.
Save Water While Taking Care Of Plants
You can keep your plants hale and healthy while conserving our precious water resources. Using a rain barrel to collect water, which you then use to water your plants, is one excellent method. If you water the lawn, turn on the sprinklers in the morning or night so water doesn’t evaporate from the sun’s heat.
Eat Less Meat
Do you know that you can conserve water by choosing what you eat? Surprising, huh? But it’s true. You can help lower water usage by going for a plant-based diet. That’s because farms that grow veggies use less water than farms that raise animals. By switching to a plant-based diet, you help reduce water consumption by as much as 50%.
The world’s supply of fossil fuels is fast running out. If we keep burning it at the current rate, experts estimate that the earth’s store will get depleted within this century. To leave some for the younger generation, we need to curb our usage of fossil fuel-based products.
Take Public Transportation
Almost 30% of the country’s greenhouse gases come from the transportation sector. That’s because burning fossil fuels releases these gases into the atmosphere. One car emits approximately 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. By taking public transportation, you help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that gets into the environment. Increasing ridership on public transit also lowers fuel consumption and air pollution.
The recent pandemic proved that many tasks at the office could easily be accomplished at home. Working from the house means fewer trips to the workplace, which reduces the number of cars on the road. That means less pollution and earth-warming gases circulating in the air.
However, gasoline is not the only natural resource you conserve by telecommuting. You also help save more energy because your office will need less electricity for lights and air conditioning.
Consider Using Reel Mower
Taking care of your lawn requires energy to use. Your lawnmower may not require much fuel, but the amount adds up. If you want to conserve fuel, how about using a reel mower instead of a gas-powered one? Not only will you save a few bucks, but you’ll get a good workout, too.
Your electricity use largely determines your energy bills. In generating electricity, power plants burn fuels that create harmful emissions. In fact, electricity generation accounts for about 25% of carbon dioxide emissions. So you can see how lowering your consumption can help the planet.
Use LED Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs use less electric power to provide the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs. As such, swapping your old incandescent with LED lights will help you save on your energy bills. Energy Star-rated LED bulbs, in particular, consume 75% less energy than traditional bulbs. LED bulbs last much longer, too, by up to 25 times.
Use appliances with ENERGY Star Label
The Energy Starlabel is an indication of energy efficiency. Energy Star-rated appliances typically consume less electricity than their conventional counterparts. So when it’s time to replace your old models, look for the label in the ones you plan to purchase. Some brands may cost a bit more upfront. Still, you’ll be able to recoup the difference quickly from the savings on your power bills.
Power Homes with Solar Energy
We mentioned that the earth’s stockpile of fossil fuels is fast depleting. Now, it takes millions of years for nature to replenish the planet’s supply of these fuel sources. Compare that with renewable energy suppliers which are self-replenishing. Some good examples are solar energy and wind power.
As long as the sun shines and the wind blows, the world will have plenty of energy from those sources. To help conserve our limited resources, you can use solar energy to power your home. By installing solar panels, you lessen your dependence on fossil-fuel-based energy sources. That saves you money while giving Mother Nature a boost.
Turn Off Unused Lights and Appliances
Turning off lights in unused areas of your home and unplugging appliances are easy ways to conserve energy. Even though light bulbs don’t consume much electricity, the costs add up over time. Meanwhile, devices that remain plugged in continue using electricity. Again, the consumption may be small, but that’s still money down the drain.
Reduce Food Waste
Food scraps take up significant space in our landfills. Thus, reducing food waste is good for both your pocket and the environment. Make sure that you prepare only enough for your consumption and buy only what you’ll eat. Meal planning is the key. You can also compost your leftovers, so you don’t add to the garbage problem.
Conserving our resources can be a challenge. Still, we need to persevere, or the world will soon face a supply crisis. Fortunately, even small gestures lead to great benefits. Making some changes in your lifestyle can create a big difference in how much resources you help save for the next generation.