Since natural resources are finite, limited, and will likely run out if we continue to use them at the rate we are, it is extremely important to conserve them wherever possible. Since many industries and businesses are now regulated by government or local council regulations, one of the biggest places where we can further conserve natural resources is at home.
Some countries, such as Austria and Sweden, are extremely good at conserving natural resources with a recycling rate of nearly 100 percent (of materials which could theoretically be recycled). However, countries such as the UK and the USA only recycle a meager 15 to 30 percent of their waste stream. Up to 60 percent of the trash that ends up in landfill in these countries could be recycled .
There are many simple ways that you can conserve natural resources in your home. Most of these are based on the simple environmental/green principle of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle .
Keep reading to learn how you can do your part to reduce carbon emissions and stop climate change by conserving natural resources.
How can you conserve natural resources
Get into the habit of recycling
Since so many recyclables end up in landfill every single year, you can make a big difference by simply being careful when you sort your waste. Make sure your recyclables are recycled.
- Never place glass, metal, or paper products in your general waste, as they are all easily reused to create new products.
Recycling takes a fraction of the energy that creating new products does, and has the added benefit of conserving natural resources .
Avoid buying products with large amounts of packaging or with non-recyclable packaging
Some products, especially processed foods, come with huge amounts of packaging. Often this is made out of single use plastics or other non-recyclable materials, which means that it all has to go to landfill.
- Focus on buying products which are packed in cardboard or paper, so that you can recycle the packaging.
Don’t use single use plastic bags
In America alone, over 100 billion plastic bags are used every single year. These require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture, and are one of the most environmentally harmful materials on earth.
Although so many bags are created, almost all of them are used just once, and then go directly into landfill. They are used for an average of 12 minutes each. Less than one percent of plastic bags are returned to recycling centers. The rest are disposed of in landfill or make their way into the environment.
At least 80 percent of plastic bags end up in the ocean, where they cause significant damage to many, many species – including endangered turtles, whales, and dolphins .
If these reasons aren’t enough to make you stop using plastic bags, then you should read our article “10 Reasons Why Plastic Bags Should Be Banned“.
This is one of the easiest ways to conserve natural resources at home. Electricity generation is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions, and consumes a lot of fossil fuels – which are definitely a finite resource.
You can save electricity at home in a number of ways, including:
- Turn off lights and appliances when they aren’t in use.
- Invest in solar panels or a solar water heater.
- Buy energy efficient appliances.
- Don’t use things which you don’t need to: for example, air dry your clothes instead of using an electric clothes dryer.
You can also conserve energy by managing your heating system. Make sure your house is well insulated, and only use heating when you need to. You should also avoid heating parts of your house which don’t need it whenever possible .
The above tips are just some of the many ways that you can conserve natural resources in your home.
Remember: every little bit counts in the fight against climate change and environmental destruction.