One of the biggest problems we're facing on earth is natural resources drain: this means we're using up resources that cannot be replaced... and soon we're going to run out!

These natural resources include:

  • Oil - which we need for power stations, transport and manufacturing plastic.
  • Water - we need for drinking, bathing, growing crops and sanitation.
  • Phosphorus - a mineral farmers rely upon for fertilising crops.
  • Coal - although a dirty fuel which pollutes the air and creates dangerous greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change, this is still used to generate 38% of the world's electricity.
  • Natural Gas - something we use for generating electricity and heating our homes in many countries.

What happens when we run out?

The effects of running out of our natural resources will most likely lead to extinction of the human race unless we find alternatives.

What will happen if we run out of:

Oil - we will be unable to produce enough electricity to power our cities and towns, we will be unable to produce plastic which we need for many everyday products including medical equipment, and most notably, we will be unable to travel as much - most cars, trains, boats and planes rely on oil to make them move!

Water - if we run out of clean water, we will be forced to build huge, expensive water treatment plants all over the world or risk dying of thirst.

Phosphorous - an example of a rare mineral which if we run out of, we would be unable to grow many of the world's crops. This will lead to mass starvation as there would not be enough food to feed everyone.

Coal - without coal we will be unable to power our homes, school and hospitals.

Natural Gas - we will be unable to produce electricity we need, and most notably, many people would be unable to survive the cold winters across the world.

What do we need to do?

The two key things we can do to help solve this problem is to:

  • Find new resources or technology so we don't rely on these.
  • Reduce the amount we use


  • By being more careful with the way we manage our water and tackling climate change, we can help reduce the risk of running out.
  • We can reduce the amount of plastic we use to help lower our dependency on oil, and travel by cars less often so we burn less fuel, and therefore oil.
  • We can make our homes more energy efficient so we use less electricity, and burn less gas to keep them warm in winter.

Being inventive

One of the biggest ways we can help solve this problem is to find a new way of producing electricity - especially by renewable sources. Wind, hydro, solar and tidal power are renewable ways of generating electricity but more research and inventiveness needs to be put into finding ways to produce enough electricity when we need it and without causing new environmental damage.

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