The management of the earth resources to restore and maintain balance between human requirement and other species in the world is called conservation. Conservation includes continuous renewing of renewable resources. It is also applied to conserve non-renewable sources.
Air is several kilometers thick blanket of’ atmosphere surrounding the earth. Air is very important natural resource. It consists of these gases: Nitrogen (79%), Oxygen (20%). Carbon dioxide (0.03%), Traces of inert gases called noble gases.
Oxygen is consumed during respiration. CO, and nitrogen are used as raw materials in a natural cycle for making food and other substances. These substances are required in living system. Air is being polluted rapidly due to industrialization and automobiles. Polluted air contains certain gases like carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen and sulphur. Following steps can be taken to conserve air:
- Air pollution should be checked.
- Plants should be planted to increase the production of oxygen. They also absorb pollutants.
- Production of excessive CO2 should be reduced to check green house effect.
- Environmental friendly fuel should be used.
75% of the earth surface is covered with water. It is also a component of soil and air. It is also a major constituent of living organisms. It is 70 to 90% of the body weight. About 97% of the total water of planet earth is in oceans. 2% water is in the form of frozen ice — caps and only 1% as available fresh water in lakes, streams and rivers.
Main use of water are: Domestic / irrigation use 10%, Industrial utilization 90%. Water is used as raw material in making variety of foodstuff, drinks, liquid detergents and many other products. Sodium chloride is obtained from seawater, (table salt). This sodium chloride is used in cooking and manufacturing of other useful chemicals such as chlorine and sodium hydroxide. Following measures can be taken to conserve water resources:
- Industrial chemical wastes are extremely toxic. They inhibit the natural purification of water. This purification is carried out by microorganisms. Chemical wastes degrade the river water and make it harmful for aquatic life. If pollution of fresh water resources continues, there will be shortage of fresh water supply in future. Therefore, measures should be taken to improve water sources.
- Watershed management should be used to provide clean water for irrigation.
- Recycling plants of water should be installed in the cities.
- Soil conservation
Soil is destroyed due to poor land management. Man modifies it according to his own requirements. There is intensive cutting of trees and overgrazing. It causes soil erosion. Therefore, productivity of land is decreased. A low rainfall can give moderate productivity. But the land must have sufficient vegetation cover to hold rain water. Man is destroying such vegetation. It causes desertification.
Soil conservation involves retention of water. This water is used for growing and supporting vegetation. Its aim is to maintain or increase soil fertility and productivity. Vegetation covers check the erosion effectively. Contour ploughing and strip cropping are also important for checking erosion.
Greater understanding of crop, soil and climate is also a very important for better management of the soil. Soil management also include better dropping system, crop rotation, handling of crop residues, drainage of waterlogged and swampy soils, cleaning of toxic salts from the irrigated lands and irrigation of lands.
- Conservation of biodiversity
The variety of living organisms in an ecosystem is called biodiversity. The exact number of species in the world is not known. The taxonomists have described about 1.4 million species. But taxonomists estimate that there are 4 to 30 million more species. Much of these species are unnoticed. Following steps can conserve biodiversity:
- Process of deforestation should be Checked strictly.
- The process of aforestation reforestation should be started.
- Steps should be taken to check desertification.
- Hunting should be banned.
- National parks should be established.
- Artificial breading should be carried out for endangered species.
- Laws should be enacted to conserve natural resources.
- Conservation of Energy
We have faced energy shortage in the last decade. This shortage is caused due to rapidly decreasing supplies of fossil fuels. The fossil fuel is present in the form of coal. oil and natural gas. The energy resources can also be classified as inexhaustible and exhaustible.
(a) Inexhaustible energy resource: These resources includes solar energy, falling water (hydropower), wind, .ocean thermal gradients, waves, tides, currents, geothermal and biomass.
(b) Exhaustible energy resources: These resources are fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.Exhaustible energy resources are present in fixed quantity in earth. So they have limited quantities and they will be exhaust sooner or later. It will affect the standard and life style of the future citizens. Thus these sourtes should be used properly and other sources of energy should be searched.
The energy sources on earth are limited. Hence, there should be balanced and planned use of energy resources. We can save energy by following ways:
I. Develop and use energy efficient machines, engines and manufacturing processes.
- Reduce wastage by recycling.
- There should be least use of vehicle. Go by walk or by public transport.
- Switch off lights and electrical appliances when they are not in use.
- Minimize the use of air conditioner.
- Conservation of Forests
The forests have great economic and ecological importance. But deforestation has destroyed these natural resources. Following steps can be taken to conserve forests:
I. Process of A forestation and reforestation should be started.
- Over harvesting of the forest should be banned
- Grazing should be checked in the forest.
- Nurseries should be established.