Do you care about nature? Whatever your answer is, nature cares about you! It provides us with a lot of resources every day. According to scientific researches, there are two types of resources: renewable and non-renewable (exhaustible).
The resources of rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, flora and fauna, etc. – these are renewable resources. They got this name because of their ability of self-reproducing during some time. However, the feature of this type of resources is that they need a different amount of time for restoration. For instance, we may not worry about wind or sun resources, because they are sustainable. However, we should realize that some of the funds are exhaustive: farm products, fresh water or forests. Thus, it takes less time to renew agriculture producing, than to restore the level of fresh water or forest squares. Moreover, there are two ways of restoration: through natural process (for instance, water) and recycling process (for instance, paper). It is evident that recycling and renewing resources are a very costly and require a long-term process to be restored. Such phenomena as overfishing, deforestation, and soil degradation lead to extremely negative consequences that affect the ecosystem of the entire planet.
The exploitation of renewable resources (deforestation, fishing, etc.) begins to exceed the size of their natural reproduction. To avoid this, it is necessary:
- to extract and process natural resources more rationally;
- to bring in new non-depleted resources in time;
- to restore the resources artificially;
- to find artificial substitutes.
The other type of funds is non-renewable. It includes coal, oil, natural gas, and most other minerals. We cannot restore them. There is also a group of resources that recover much slower than we use them, for instance, peatlands, many sedimentary rocks, etc. The use of these resources inevitably leads to their exhaustion. The protection of non-renewable natural resources includes the following steps:
- rational and economical use;
- control of losses in extraction, transportation, processing, and application;
- search for substitutes.
There is also another reason why we should look for alternative energy sources. For instance, coal combustion for the production of heat is accompanied with the emission of high carbon content into the atmosphere, which destroys the ozone layer. Thus, the ultraviolet rays penetrate through the ozone layer easier and, according to some researchers’ statements, cause incurable skin diseases, cancer, and so on.
Of course, modern technologies allow us to use all natural resources more efficiently and economically. For instance, we can recycle aluminum cars, cans, etc. and in this way decrease its extraction level. The same situation is with alternative energy sources, for instance, water, air, and solar stations. The increase of their numbers will allow the abandonment of industries that work on exhaustive resources. Thus, this fact leaves us hope for a better future.
To sum up, despite a lot of differences between renewable and non-renewable resources, the common thing is that most of them are exhaustive. Thus, we should remember about the efficient and economical use of natural resources and seek to reduce their consumption by finding new alternative sources.