Ecology And Environment

Different Types of Environmental Conservation

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"Different Types of Environmental Conservation"
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The types of conservation can be many or few, depending on the focus of the individual or program that is aimed at conserving the Earth's resources. The two types that are considered to be of the greatest are water and energy conservation. Humans need their water and they need their energy, of course.

But what about plant conservation? There are alarming issues of desertification on practically every continent where grasslands and forests have been decimated, the soil structure has destroyed and deserts have been created. Humans and animals need plants for nutrition. Plants can only grow in soil that has a healthy structure and is loaded with the humus that can only come from dead plant material. Some plants are the most valued for their combination of hunger reducing bulk and their nutrients. But some of these plants can also break down the soil in ways that require other plantings that replenish the soil.

What about marine and aquatic plants? They are the keys to life in the waters of the world as well as keys to the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchanges of the world's atmosphere. They can grow too much, choking out the oxygen that many underwater life forms require. They can be decimated, leading to much less activity that keeps our atmosphere breathable for land based life forms.

There are invasive plants, insects, microbes and animals that decimate populations of local plants and animals when there is no natural defense against them. The invasive species may offer more damage and problem than they contribute a satisfactory replacement for the indigenous life forms.

Mineral resources are critical to lifestyles that have become both an expectation and an issue of dependency. But the extraction and processing of the minerals can cause such damage to the land and water that the land and the water is either unusable or is poisoned to irreparable status.

Waste management is of tremendous importance. Some waste is useless, but will never break down over time. Some waste is toxic and will leach into the soil and water with poisonous or infectuous and permanent consequences. Some waste can be recycled if the creativity, technology and investment is put into the task. Some waste does not need to be generated in the first place, as with the push to stop using aerosol sprays, using fewer plastic shopping bags, and improving driving habits that waste fossil fuels. Some waste is bulky, as with the increasingly alarming amounts of "space junk" that is causing concern.

Riparian biomes need to be kept in working condition by preventing farming and animal waste runoff, preventing the washing down of soil, and through other means.

Finally, we get to energy. Energy conservation measures are boundless and endless. The measures range from getting a large number of humans to change many little habits, to capitalizing the biggest investments in alternative energy sources in history. The efforts to change two things: dependency on fossil fuel burning and availability of alternative energy from solar, water and wind, have taken on momentum in light of the untold damage and cost of fossil fuel extraction, processing and burning.

In summary, for every resource, there are conservation consequences that must be considered. For every bad energy source, there is a better alternative. For every bad plant and animal management method, there is a better method. For every type of waste, there is a need for it to be recycled, created in less quantity, destroyed with fewer problems, or put away where it will not be a problem.

More about this author: Elizabeth M Young

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