As populations the world over continue to grow, the pressure on land and other natural resources increase. People need somewhere to live. People need food to eat. People need to be entertained. People need to invent stuff and produce stuff. People tend to forget that they are not the only living things inhabiting this planet we call home.

As a result of man’s activities, the pressure on the environment has led to some drastic changes as nature goes against itself to accommodate all of man’s whims and wishes. Some of these changes have proved catastrophic for example, extreme weather changes that have led to droughts and famine, tropical storms that have destroyed lives and properties and some species have gone extinct because their habitats have been encroached on by human activity.

Can we reverse these disasters? Can we put an end to them? In the very least can we prevent our planet from further plummeting into this grim future? When many people are presented with the idea of nature conservation they think that it is too big a task for them to take on. That is the work of the government, they reason. What could an individual like me do to prevent global warming or drought?

What can individuals do to conserve natural resources?

Well, in this article, we are going to explore both the little things individuals can do and the big projects that governments can undertake to control further depletion of our planet. Beyond participation in a few rallies and writing a few motivational lines on your social media on earth day, here are a few ways to actively participate in saving our natural resources.

1. Did you know that you can conserve water at home? Turn off faucets when you are brushing your teeth, wash only full loads of laundry, only turn on that dishwasher when it is full, harvest rainwater. You can also install water efficient shower heads, do not water drylands during the water when the water will just evaporate away. Make it a point not t dump waste in rivers and lakes as it destabilizes the ecosystem. Do anything in your power to avoid wastage of this precious resource.

2. We have heard time and time again that plastics are dangerous. They clog up water bodies, sea animals choke on them and they do not decompose for a long time and emit dangerous gases while at it. Here is how you can minimize the damage. Always reuse your plastics. Pack your food in reusable dishes. Use your plastic bottles again. See more on the damage plastics do here.

3. Reduce your carbon footprint. Can you walk to a place? Great d that instead of driving to and fro. Or you could carpool, or even take the bus or train. This way, there is less pollution from exhaust fumes released in the air and the environment will be all the much better for it.

What is the role of governments in the conservation story?

There are also big things the government can do to aid conservation efforts. Here is a look at some of those things.

1. Governments draft laws on conservation for example, certain areas are gazetted as conservation areas and people are not allowed to cut down the trees, hunt the animals or even live in those areas. Rangers are deployed in those areas to make sure that the law is not broken and there are repercussions for trespassing on those areas.

2. Massive sensitization campaigns should be organized by authorities to educate the people on the effects of global warming and how doom can be averted.

3. One cannot deny that some of the activities that lead to abuse of natural resources are valid. Some areas are overcrowded, the need for fertile farmland. The need to conserve often conflicts with the need to survive. But the governments can come up with programs to ensure that there are resources for use in the future and this is through sustainable development models.

4. Provision of alternative sources of power like solar or hydropower is a great way to reduce the pressure of relying on natural gas as the main source of power for homes or industries. Such huge projects may be too big to be undertaken by individuals and that is where the relevant authorities must step in.

The efforts towards conserving natural resources should be a joint effort between both individuals and governments.