There are many ways in which human beings waste energy on typical days. First of all, leaving lights on during the day or at night while asleep results in the loss of energy which could be used at night when performing important tasks (Forde, 2017). Besides, the sun provides free solar energy in the form of light during the day to allow people to see things. As such, there is no need to leave lights on during the day. Secondly, using incandescent bulbs which do not save energy results in wastage of energy. Energy-efficient bulbs can be used to replace such bulbs since they do not consume much power. Thirdly, leaving electronic appliances plugged in power sockets. It has been confirmed that electronic appliances consume energy even when they are turned off.
Another way of wasting energy is powering empty chest freezers. Chest freezers use a lot of energy to keep food fresh. As such, leaving an empty chest freezer connected to a power source can consume much power which could instead be stored for the future. Empty chest freezers should rather be disconnected from power sources. Lastly, washing clothes in hot water consumes energy as well. Most washing machines use much heat to warm water before using it to wash clothes. Instead of using much heat, half of the energy should be saved by regulating power supply from time to time. By doing this, less energy will be used to warm water for washing clothes. Among the three principles of sustainability, the five actions that increase energy wastage violate the principle of dependence on solar energy. Most of the energy restored from the sun through solar panels and solar cells get wasted through inappropriate use of stored energy. For example, solar energy can be used to light bulbs in houses. However, leaving light bulbs during daytime or while asleep is a way of violating the use of solar energy.
The IPAT model is made of four letters whereby “I” stands for environmental impact, “P” stands form population, “A” for affluence, and “T” for technology (Magee, Devezas, 2018). Therefore, the model explains how the environment is impacted by the existing population, affluence, and technology. To bring out a clear explanation of the model, two countries, one which is underdeveloped and the other one which is developed can be used. Firstly, most countries in sub-Saharan Africa are underdeveloped. For example, Burundi is an underdeveloped country which has a higher population less development in modern technology. Besides, the affluence of people in the country is low. Therefore, the large population that possesses fewer resources is likely to experience negative environmental hazards such as hunger. On the other hand, the United States of America is among the developed countries in the world. Its population is moderate due to the advancements in population. Also, affluence is evenly distributed among people in the country, and the country has highly developed technology. Thus, the positive aspects in population, affluence, and technology are likely to bring a positive impact on the environment as people can secure employment and get income to sustain themselves.
Oil and coal have been depended on by many countries due to their production of high amounts of energy. However, recent studies show that they should be replaced by other sources of energy such as nuclear energy and oil shale and tar sands. According to environmental studies, oil and coal are non-renewable sources of energy which can deplete at any time. Thus, relying on them as the only source of energy can result in energy depletion in case the oil and coal sources get depleted. Besides, oil and coal produce high amounts of carbon dioxides which can cause global warming. Thus, alternative sources of energy should be identified to avoid such environmental effects. Such sources should include perpetual and renewable sources of energy which cannot be depleted.
Environmental problems result when natural resources are used carelessly. Most of the resources in the current market result from the natural environment. For example, crops sold to earn income comes from the natural environment. However, those who sell them do not consider how the environment impacts on the growth of those plants. Besides, they do not care about how plants benefit the environment. As such, continuous exploitation of natural resources without replacing them can result in more environmental problems.
The tragedy of commons occurs when individuals exploit resources maximally without considering what will happen if the common resources come to an end. In environmental studies, the tragedy of commons occurs when non-renewable sources are used maximally until they come to an end (Patt, 2017). As a result, the occupants in the environment suffer from the depletion of resources. For example, oceans, deserts, and Polar Regions suffer from the tragedy of commons. Water is a non-renewable resource which can be depleted any time when used limitlessly. In the case of the depletion, the area will turn into a desert, and similar environmental problems experienced in deserts will shift to that place. Therefore, it is necessary to care for the resources in the environment to avoid the tragedy of commons.
According to environmental research, the four major causes of environmental problems include population growth, poverty, wasteful and unsustainable use of resources, and failure to include the harmful environmental cost of goods and services in their market prices. Among the four causes, wasteful and unsustainable use of resources contributes more to the existing environmental problems. Most environmental issues such as pollution, flooding, drought, and hunger result due to wastage and unsustainable use of the natural resources on the environment. Therefore, avoidance of practices that deplete important resources in the natural environment such as plants and animals can result in environmental problems.
A nuclear fuel cycle involves the stages and procedures followed in making nuclear fuel. It is made up of steps in the front end, service period, and in the back end. The three steps involve fuel preparation, usage during reaction period, and containment of the processed fuel respectively. Although the nuclear fuel cycle leads to the production of energy, it has many risks to the surroundings. Firstly, radioactive elements produced during the cycle can pose health effects to individuals who come in contact with them (Li, Brossard, Anderson, Scheufele, & Rose, 2018). Besides, there is no valid way to dispose or store nuclear wastes that remain after the cycle. Thus, it accumulates in the surroundings and may cause some problems later. Lastly, nuclear reactors used in the nuclear fuel cycle are a risk to the environment as well. Radioactivity taking place in the reactors can cause direct effects to people who are around. As such, they may end up developing health effects related to exposure to radioactive substances such as cancer. Therefore, those working in nuclear fuel plants should be aware of the risks that accompany the nuclear fuel cycle to avoid impending health effects.
A perpetual resource is that resource which can be renewed continuously, e.g., solar, wind, and tidal energy. Secondly, a renewable resource is that which can be replenished through natural procedures and include fresh air, water, plants, and animals. Lastly, a non-renewable resource is that which exists in a fixed quantity. For example, minerals and fossils.
The two major components of the earth’s natural capital include abiotic natural capital and abiotic flows. Firstly, abiotic natural capital comprises of subsoil assets which include minerals, metals, and fossils. On the other hand, abiotic flows comprise of wind and solar energy.
There are two types of sources of pollutants which include pollutants from foreign substances and those from naturally occurring contaminants. Foreign substances include gases such as carbon dioxide and nuclear substances such as asbestos. Besides, naturally occurring contaminants include changes in temperature of water bodies and naturally occurring gases such as carbon monoxide.
Forde, E. (2017). The ethics of energy provisioning: Living off-grid in rural Wales. Energy research & social science, 30, 82-93.
Li, N., Brossard, D., Anderson, A. A., Scheufele, D. A., & Rose, K. M. (2018). How do policymakers and think tank stakeholders prioritize the risks of the nuclear fuel cycle? A semantic network analysis. Journal of Risk Research, 21(5), 599-621.
Magee, C. L., & Devezas, T. C. (2018). Specifying technology and rebound in the IPAT identity. Procedia Manufacturing, 21, 476-485.
Patt, A. (2017). Beyond the tragedy of the commons: Reframing effective climate change governance. Energy Research & Social Science, 34, 1-3.