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What are natural resources?

In less than eight months, we used more natural resources than the planet is able to produce in a 12 month period. For the remainder of 2016, we will be living on resources borrowed by future generations. We call this Earth Overshoot Day, which fell on Aug. 8.

Click on the natural resources below to learn more about how each impacts people, wildlife and the planet.

What it gives us

  • Human Life
  • Food
  • Wildlife
  • Health & Cleanliness
  • Energy
  • Growth (business and economies depend on water!)

Threats

  • Climate change
  • Over-allocation/Growing demand/population growth/changing consumption patterns/Unsustainable use
  • Unsustainable agriculture
  • Pollution
  • Energy generation
  • Unsustainable aquaculture
  • Infrastructure
  • Navigation

What you can do

Take action now

Tell world leaders to cooperate on fresh water

Today, more than 270 lakes and rivers around the world cross international borders, making them shared resources. But many countries aren't working together to ensure water security on all sides of their waterways.

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What it gives us

  • Products made from the wood or rubber of trees
  • Wildlife
  • Food
  • Fuel
  • Medicine
  • Fresh air
  • Clean water
  • Sequestering carbon
  • CO2 production

Threats

  • Unsustainable agriculture
  • Unsustainable and illegal logging
  • Mining
  • Urban expansion
  • Infrastructure (e.g., roads built through forests)

What you can do

RSPO Logo

Take action now

Ask your Congressional leader to implement the Lacey Act

In 2008, Congress recognized the threat of deforestation by amending the Lacey Act to prohibit illegal timber from entering the US. Tell Congress you support the amendments.

Use your voice

What it gives us

  • Climate control and protection
  • Food
  • Wildlife

Threats

  • Climate change
  • Illegal, unregulated and unreported Fishing
  • Overfishing
  • Pollution

What you can do

MSC logo

Take action now

Take a Stand Against Illegal Fishing

Tell the National Ocean Council you want real, tangible solutions for the traceability of seafood in US markets.

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What it gives us

  • Human Life
  • Wildlife
  • Food
  • Water

Threats

  • Energy generation
  • Manufacturing
  • Deforestation
  • Transportation

What you can do

FSC logo
  • Install solar panels
  • Call your energy company and see if you can switch to wind power
  • Be energy efficient
  • Encourage your favorite companies to adopt sustainable practices
  • Buy FSC-certified wood and paper products
  • Take public transportation, walk, or bike

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Support the EPA's Clean Power Plan

Sign our letter to President Obama and tell him you support the Clean Power Plan and his recent efforts to address climate change.

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What it gives us

  • Forests, mangroves, grasslands and other terrestrial ecosystems
  • Wildlife habitat
  • Greenhouse gas and carbon storage
  • Freshwater storage and filtration
  • Healthy soil for crop production

Threats

  • Energy generation
  • Manufacturing
  • Deforestation
  • Transportation

What you can do

ASC Logo

Take action now

Sign the petition to fight climate change

As the president said, "no challenge—no challenge—poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change." If we continue on this trajectory, nature's future, along with our own, is in jeopardy.

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