Environmental Science: Resource Depletion | Teen Ink

Environmental Science: Resource Depletion

February 13, 2016
By aditipallod GOLD, Breinigsville, Pennsylvania
aditipallod GOLD, Breinigsville, Pennsylvania
17 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence."



Resource depletion has been a predicament for a plethora of months, years, decades, even. But what exactly is resource depletion?

Studies show that billions of people are unaware of the quagmires of resource depletion. These people not only originate from third world countries, but are ignorant ones living in the USA!

Resource depletion is the consumption of a resource faster than it can be replenished. Natural resources are separated into two categories: renewable sources and non-renewable sources. Resource depletion is most commonly used in reference to farming, fishing, mining, water usage, and consumption of fossil fuels.

People and other living beings depend on natural resources for food, shelter, and protection, as well as for generating energy and all the products we manufacture. With current consumption patterns, people are using these resources at an unsustainable rate. Many resources are at risk of becoming depleted.

The U.S. has about 5 percent of the world’s population, but accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s resources consumption. If everyone lived like the average North American, the combined ecological footprint would be at least five Earths.



The main causes of resource depletion are overuse or irrational use, non-equitable use of resources, technological and industrial development and population growth. Peoples are exploiting non-renewable resources at a very fast speed to meet the increasing demands for economic and industrial growth. Irrational use is when resources are being used in an illogical manner, for example using extra water for washing cars.

Soil is what plants grow in. Soil formation takes a very long span of time. Careless human activities can destroy the soil in a very short time. Deforestation, overgrazing, over cultivation, mining, etc. affect the soil in different ways. Destruction of vegetation and overgrazing causes widespread soil erosion.

Deforestation has caused destruction of natural habitats of several species. About 10% of the species of flowering plants are about to become extinct. Destruction of nature disturbs the ecosystem greatly.

Natural resources are unequally distributed over the world. In India, water is unequally distributed throughout the states as well as a lack of coal reserves in some states however others are getting overmined.

Continuous use and consumption of resources is bound to deplete the resources if they cannot be renewed.

Fast technological development and industrialization causes depletion of fossil fuels.

Coal is used as a source of energy for industries. It is also converted into coal gas, electricity and oil for industrial and technological purpose. Therefore, the coal stock is rapidly depleting.

To feed more and more people, more land is being brought under agriculture by cutting forests. This has serious environmental repercussions, including destruction of wildlife. So forests and wildlife are getting depleted due to population growth.

Population growth is causing a strain on resources like land, electricity, transport etc. So there is depletion of resources.


The impacts of resource depletion are an imbalance in nature, a shortage of materials, the struggle for human life and slackening of economic growth.

Our natural resources bring a balance in the environment and make it stable. Increasing deforestation and other terrible acts has greatly affected the balance in nature.

Indiscriminate use of resources has caused shortage of material. Many materials that we used to get from forest are in short supply because forests have been cleaned for making cities, roads, dams etc.

A struggle for existence is taking place between different countries, between the neighboring states of one country, so they can take the natural resources of that area.

The economic growth of a country depends upon the availability of resources. Because of the depletion of resources it causes terrible effects on economic growth. Decreased supply of petroleum in the 1970s because of rising international process of the commodity slackened economic growth. The entire world is being affected by resource depletion, it is a global quandary!


Now that you have learned all about resource depletion, how can we avoid it? Coping most successfully with resource depletion requires a broad range of strategies.

These include improved recycling, the end of our disposable culture, and a return to taking care of things and repairing them when they go wrong, and making investments in renewable and alternative energy sources, including wind farms and nuclear power.

This involves clean nuclear fusion power plants using fuels such as helium-3.

Additionally, developments in space travel are likely to be the only long-term solution for sourcing those future natural resources required if the human race is to continue to expand, evolve and thrive.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.