Every month we try to focus on a new area of sustainability on campus. For April, the focus will be on conservation. Conservation is the act of using, restoring, and protecting natural resources. This blog will focus on conserving energy, water, and wildlife. Why is conserving these resources so important? What are some ways to conserve? Please read on to find out.
It’s good to remember that as humans, we create a lot of different products, which cost a lot of money, energy, and natural resources to create. Not only that, but it also costs us to transport and dispose of these products as well. Conserving energy means so much more than just saving money. The more energy we conserve, the less fossil fuels we burn. Not only that, but by conserving energy we are also saving natural resources as well as cutting down on pollution. On a larger scale, it creates jobs throughout the country, and enhances quality of life for everyone.
Here are 3 ways you can conserve energy:
- Open the windows! Spring has sprung and the cold has gone away (hopefully for good)! Let some natural light in, turn off the AC, and get some fresh air!
- Get outside! Go see what Springfield has to offer by going for a walk or maybe even to the park! You never know what you can discover!
- Take a nap! Find a break between classes, head back home, and snooze to your heart’s content. We’re college students, we deserve it!
Here are some statistics about energy usage:
- The average U.S. household spends $5,550 per year on energy alone.
- According to the EPA, a 2009 study showed approximately 42% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are associated with the energy used to produce, process, transport, and dispose of the food we eat and the goods we use.
- It costs just 47 cents per year to charge an iPhone 6. It takes 49 times as much energy to charge a desktop computer and 72 times as much energy to power a flat screen television.
It’s safe to say that fresh, clean water is a limited resource. It may not seem that way, since a vast majority of the planet is covered in the stuff, but due to the fact that it’s salt water, it can only be consumed by humans after undergoing the process of desalination (which is a process that extracts mineral components from saline water). The desalination process is anything but cheap, typically costing around $2,000 per acre foot. Ready to do your part?
Here are 3 ways to conserve water
- Try cutting meat out of your diet
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth
- Time your showers
Here are statistics about the three tips given above:
- One pound of meat requires roughly 2,500 gallons of water, which is 10 times the amount of water needed to grow one pound of grain protein
- Turning off the tap while you brush your teeth can save 6 litres of water per minute.
- Every minute you take off from your shower saves 3 to 6 gallons of water. I’m a big fan of using music to time mine!
As the warm weather rolls in, everyone is going out. Whether it be an afternoon reading in the hammock, a hike, or just a quick walk, we need to remember to leave things the way nature intended the best we can. Wildlife conservation means to protect endangered animal and plant species as well as their natural habitat.
Here are 3 ways you can do your part:
- Volunteer to clean streets and neighborhoods. You can also volunteer at local organizations as well as zoos and animal shelters.
- If you see trash, pick it up — not only does trash pollute everyone’s natural resources, it also harms birds, fish, and other animals as well.
- Watch what you buy — Don’t purchase products made from endangered animals or their parts
Here are some statistics about wildlife:
- According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, habitat destruction is the main threat to 85 percent of all threatened and endangered species
- From 1970 to 2012, the Earth’s population of wild vertebrates (all mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) declined 58 percent.
- The number one cause of the population decline is habitat loss and degradation.