If you take care of land, it will take care of you – Bob Dixson
Earth is a beautiful planet. It provides us with food, shelter, oxygen and with most of our requirements. Our current global population of 7.2 billion (and growing) depends on earth, not only for its natural resources and services, but also for inspiration and to feel a connection to something larger. We need to be kind to her for all the free services she is providing continuously. Rather, with our selfish activities we are depleted all the natural resources and in danger of creating an environment that could be very hostile to us. The Three Most Drained Natural Resources are:
Freshwater only makes 2.5% of the total volume of the world’s water and of that 70% is in the form of ice and permanent snow cover. This leaves us with only 0.75% of fresh water for a population of 7.2 billion. Out of this 70% is used for agriculture, 20% in industries and only 10% remains for human consumption. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is predicting that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity.
Causes: Increased population, increased irrigation and agriculture, roads and infrastructure, rising temperatures, pumping out ground water, water pollution
Consequences: Drinking water shortage, Food Shortage, Poor Health, Habitat Loss and Destruction to Ecosystem
Forests are a valuable resource providing food, shelter, wildlife habitat, fuel, and daily supplies such as medicinal ingredients and paper. They play a very important role in absorbing the greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide and produce the Oxygen we breathe. Deforestation contributes 12 to 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually.
With increased population, there is more demand for housing and construction projects. In addition, the increase in usage of paper has also contributed to decrease in this valuable resource. Every minute, the equivalent to 20 football fields of forest is being cut down. An average American uses about 749 pounds of paper every year and less than half is recycled.
Causes: Human Settlement, Urbanization, Fragmentation, Agriculture, Forest Fires, Manufacturing paper and Building Homes
Consequences: Loss of habitat for millions of species, Change in Water Cycle, Soil erosion, Global Warming caused by the rise of greenhouse gases, Loss of biodiversity, Drought, Climate Change
Air is a wonderful natural resource provided by earth. Clean air is vital for the existence of life on this planet. The composition of Oxygen in the atmosphere is 20.94%. An average human being needs 600 quarts of Oxygen daily. The Oxygen- Carbon dioxide cycle is of fundamental importance to animal-plant relationships. Plants produce food by taking in carbon dioxide and give out Oxygen during Photosynthesis. This precious resource has been polluted in recent times and it has an adverse effect on the health of all living beings. Health effects from air pollution include heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases. Air pollution can also cause long-term damage to people’s nerves, brain, kidneys, liver, and other organs.
Causes: Smoke emitted from industries and vehicles, De Forestation, Higher population, Seasonal Influence, Smoke and ash due to volcanic eruption
Consequences: Serious Health effects, acidification, eutrophication
We use oil for production of gasoline, manufacturing, heating, asphalt, propane and jet fuel. Oil reserves are a non-renewable resource. In 2016, the BP Statistical Review of World Energy measured the global proved oil reserves at 1707 billion barrels, which would be sufficient to meet 50.6 years, should global production remain at the current rate.
Causes: Industrial boom, increased population, wastage
Consequences: Less Transportation, Smaller economies, Higher prices
Let’s Make a Difference
Every one of us can make a difference and conserve our natural resources by doing our part and trusting that others will do the same.
- Follow the 3R principle (reduce, reuse & recycle) for non-degradable wastes.
- Turn off the light. Save Electricity by turning appliances including computer off when not in use.
- Air dry. Let your hair and clothes dry naturally. When washing clothes, make sure the load is full.
- Get a rug. Carpets and rugs keep your house warm and your thermostat low.
- Save trees by going paperless or by using only recycled products and paying your bills online.
- Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup. Take fewer napkins.
- Take short showers. Fix leaky faucets and use recycled water for flushing your toilet.
- Harvest rainwater. Use it for cleaning or watering your plants.
- Reduce CO2 emissions by buying energy efficient appliances.
- Cycle, walk or use public transportation whenever possible. Save the car trips for when you’ve got a big group.
- Plant a tree wherever you can. Do something good for Earth on your special day.
- Participate in tree conservation projects.
- Stop polluting the ocean.
- Share, don’t just like. If you see an interesting social media post about resource conservation, share it so folks in your network see it too.
Let’s do our part and handover a clean & green planet to our future generations. When thousands of us will take this initiative, we can save Life, Environment and Earth.