Overconsumption, or people consuming resources faster than they can be replenished, is the main cause of resource depletion. Overpopulation, industrial and technological development, erosion, deforestation, over-fishing, irrigation, mining and pollution all contribute to the problem as well.Continue Reading
The rate at which people consume natural resources for food, for shelter, to generate energy and to manufacture products is unsustainable. Natural resources include groundwater, forests, soil, fossil fuels and marine animals. In addition to direct consumption, the effects of pollution and climate change endanger resources. For example, the glaciers that feed several major rivers are melting; this could lead to drought in the future.
Overpopulation not only increases food consumption but also escalates the need for shelter and living space. Clearing forests to create space for farms and developing urban areas leads to deforestation, and construction consumes mineral resources such as sand, gravel and crushed stone. Deforestation often leads to erosion and soil depletion, and some farming practices introduce toxins to the soil and deplete water reserves. Industries expand to meet the demands of the growing world population, consuming increasing amounts of resources.
Reusing nonbiodegradable items, such as shopping bags and glass bottles, decreases the amount of waste that goes to landfills, lowers the demand for new products and limits the consumption of raw materials. Recycling similarly conserves resources.Learn more about Natural Resources
The term nonrenewable resource is generally used to refer to the energy-providing resources of oil, coal, natural gas and uranium. Nonrenewable resources are any resources comprised solely, or in part, from elements on the periodic table and that were created through chemical reactions that either required conditions no longer found on Earth or that took millions of years to complete, making them nonrenewable in a practical sense.Full Answer >
Depletion of natural resources can be prevented if people use recyclable materials, conserve water, dispose of wastes correctly, minimize carbon emission, avoid cutting down of trees, planting more trees and using energy efficient appliances. These are just some of the basic ways anyone can help in prevention of natural resource depletion.Full Answer >
According to the Foundation for Sustainable Development, India's high population, coupled with its comparatively small geographic size, has resulted in major environmental degradation, including the loss of forests and the depletion of water and other natural resources. Air pollution, water pollution and an abundance of solid waste are major problems on the Indian subcontinent.Full Answer >
Advantages of using ethanol as fuel include its ability to serve as a renewable resource and its biodegradability in the event of spills, while disadvantages include a lower heat of combustion than petroleum and the possibility of environmental problems from the disposal of production fermentation liquors. As of 2015, approximately 2,000 ethanol fueling stations exist in the United States, mostly located in the Midwest.Full Answer >