When we think about how far humankind has come since the bronze age, it’s hard to separate this development from the exploitation of Mother Earth’s natural resources. Whether it’s to sustain ourselves, build tools, homes, or create energy, humanity would have never evolved the way it did without these precious reserves. Now, seeing as our reliance on fossil fuels will soon turn into a distant reality, it’s essential to start looking at more reliable energy sources that will allow us to thrive without causing excessive pollution and depleting the planet’s resources.
In the following article, we will take a closer look at 6 of the most valuable natural resources that we can all benefit from for a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future.
Water is the essence of all life on earth. It’s no wonder why we live on “the blue planet.” Aside from essential hydration and production uses, water provides a virtually endless supply of energy, known as hydropower. It’s currently the number one source of renewable energy to generate electricity using water flows from rivers, streams, and dams. When that water is released, the motion spins turbines that generate electricity. Of course, using water to produce energy is not entirely sustainable yet, but modern scientists and engineers are working on making hydropower more eco-friendly.
What do some of the greatest inventions have in common? They all use wind power. Take windmills and sailing ships, for instance; they allowed us to produce grains and explore the world. Essentially, as long as the earth spins, we’ll have infinite access to wind power for all sorts of productive uses. There’s a reason why wind farms are growing so popular; they make use of one of the most eco-friendly energy sources and are also becoming more affordable. If you’re interested, there’s a lot more to learn as mentioned in this guide on the properties and future potential of wind power. The world of sustainable energies is evolving rapidly, so it’s best to stay informed by conducting some specialized research.
From providing warmth to helping plants grow, the sun is one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts. Without it, life as we know simply wouldn’t be. When it comes to energy production, solar power installations are in fact one of the fastest-growing alternatives to traditional coal, gas, and oil. They use photovoltaic cells to pick up photons, which are then converted into electrons and serve a variety of purposes, from heating to recharging batteries. Did you know that the world’s largest solar plant was in Morocco, and it can provide electricity for up to a million people?
If you’re science-inclined and when looking at geysers or hot springs you think “there must be a way to produce energy here”, you’d be right! As a matter of fact, a number of countries are increasingly relying on their natural landscape formations to fulfill their needs for electricity, heating, and more. Despite being a greatly sustainable energy source, geothermal power is only available in specific locations, such as Iceland and Costa Rica.
Because tidal currents are measurable and predictable, tidal power has the great potential to become a leading source of renewable energy in the future. It uses the moon’s and sun’s upwards gravitational pull and the earth’s downwards pull to create high and low tides, which produces an infinite supply of energy. As simple yet genius as that sounds, tidal power has one of the highest implementation costs for a sustainable energy source, which is why it is yet to be popularized. Nevertheless, it won’t be long before the technology is made accessible and affordable for general use.
Have you ever heard of the biofuel used to fill green cars’ tanks? This was made possible thanks to biomass. In essence, biomass power involves converting plant and organic materials into energy and electricity. Think of something as simple as burning wood logs in your chimney during winter; this is a biomass process. Nowadays, these processes are far cleaner and more energy-efficient. Since we can grow plants and trees infinitely, biomass is considered a viable and sustainable source for energy production.
Given how we’ve emitted alarming amounts of CO2 and trashed the planet in the process, it’s high time for us to change our ways and adopt healthier, more-eco friendly alternatives to fulfill our daily needs. The downside to many of these natural resources is they’re often widely unavailable or very costly to implement. However, with the pace at which technology is evolving, we stand a good chance at seeing some groundbreaking innovations in the near future that will help us break away from non-renewable energies and preserve the environment.