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Conservation of Natural Resources and Sustainable Practices

Conservation of Natural Resources and Sustainable Practices


  1. The human population depends on various natural resources, plants, and other members of the animal kingdom for our survival and lifestyles. Take a day in your life at home and at work and think of items or ways you could reduce or do away with. In what ways does the reduction promote resource depletion? As a nurse, how would you advocate for mitigating unrestricted consumption and its effects on the human population and health? (USLOs 5.1, 5.2)


  1. Take any two finite/non-renewable resources and discuss ways to conserve them or promote their sustainable use. How do the effects of resource depletion intersect with socioeconomic status, gender, race/ethnicity, and health outcomes? Explain. Next, in what ways can nurses encourage sustainability in their personal and professional settings? (USLOs 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4)


  1. Introduction

With increasing globalization of the economy and competitive industrial growth, the pattern of consumption, production, and marketing has become complex. Global consumption of natural resources has increased rapidly because of population growth, urbanization, and changed lifestyles. Industrialized countries have employed technological and institutional means to exploit resources to meet the growing consumption demand. This has put severe stress on the availability of resources. Developing countries are also following suit in consuming the resources. Sooner or later, if this consumption trend continues, it will lead to economic degradation and cause a high cost for future generations. This calls for an urgent need to conserve natural resources. Now the question arises: what do we mean by resource conservation? Why is it needed? What will be the impact of unrestricted consumption of resources? What are the ways to conserve resources and sustain development? This study is an attempt to answer such questions.

All the activities of man are directly or indirectly interwoven with the natural resources of Earth. All the industries based on agricultural raw materials, minerals, fuels, etc. are products of natural resources. In fact, life itself is a gift of nature – vegetables, animals, water, and the atmosphere. Man is the most precious resource, utilizing all the natural resources for life. The development of human civilization has been closely linked with the availability of natural resources. Now, these resources have been overutilized to feed the large human population. According to some estimates, 85% of resources have been consumed in the last 100 years.

1.1 Importance of Natural Resources

Importance of natural resources. Natural resources are those things that are in the environment and obtained from it. They are the gift of nature and make the life of humans very comfortable and easy. They are an essential part of our lives. They are the things which are limited in nature. Natural resources have been classified into various types. The most common classifications are: – Biotic and abiotic. – Renewable and non-renewable. Renewable natural resources are those which can be generated again and are virtually unlimited. The major types of such resources are air, water, soil, and forests. On the other hand, non-renewable resources are those which are available in a limited quantity and can be exhausted. Such resources include coal, oil, natural gases, and minerals. The word resource is a vast term. It is essentially a functional concept; it only has meaning in human reflection upon human needs for inputs to maintain or increase the functioning of their life. It is hard to overestimate the importance of human resources. It is a necessity for life and no substitute for it will exist. Without resources, human life would be a very short and squalid affair, in no way approximating its current meaning. The issue which society must consider is not whether to use resources; this is its inevitable act in pursuit of survival and betterment. Rather, it is how to use them.

1.2 Impact of Unrestricted Consumption

Presently, about 80% of the raw material and 90% of its uses come from natural resources, and only 1% has been closed into biological cycles (Narayanan, 2005). Natural resources are being used so much: land, water, air, wildlife, nonrenewable resources, and human capacities and needs to meet development goals and objectives. Unrestricted consumption of natural resources will have a negative impact on the environment. If land is an important natural resource for economic development in third world countries, this will occur at the expense of the land itself and its health, especially when there is no proper land use planning and controls. Conversion of forest land to agriculture land is a controlled way for economic development, but it will affect the fertility of the soil. Not to forget rampant deforestation, which is mainly for its timber being exported or for land cleared up for commercial plantations or conversion to rural land with no regulations. All of this would decrease the quality and quantity of forest resources.

  1. Ways to Conserve Natural Resources

2.1 Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

2.2 Energy Conservation

2.3 Water Conservation

2.4 Sustainable Agriculture

2.5 Forest Conservation

  1. Intersection of Resource Depletion and Socioeconomic Status

3.1 Disparities in Access to Resources

3.2 Environmental Justice Issues

3.3 Impact on Economic Development

  1. Intersection of Resource Depletion and Gender

4.1 Gendered Impacts of Resource Depletion

4.2 Gender Equality and Sustainable Practices

4.3 Women’s Role in Conservation Efforts

  1. Intersection of Resource Depletion and Race/Ethnicity

5.1 Disproportionate Effects on Minority Communities

5.2 Environmental Racism

5.3 Promoting Environmental Equity

  1. Intersection of Resource Depletion and Health Outcomes

6.1 Health Impacts of Resource Depletion

6.2 Vulnerable Populations and Health Disparities

6.3 Promoting Health through Sustainable Practices

  1. Nurses’ Role in Encouraging Sustainability

7.1 Education and Advocacy

7.2 Incorporating Sustainability in Healthcare Practices

7.3 Promoting Sustainable Lifestyles



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