The challenges in the sustainable use of resources involve the following; Human behaviour, Human population and consumption level, Economic growth.
Human behaviours have said to make things worse by these activities;
Having too many children;
Over consumption of resources;
Failure to recycle;
Production/disposal of toxic waste;
Improper disposal of human waste;
Improper disposal of garbage;
Misuse of pesticides;
Economic dependence on growth;
Depletion of soils by over farming;
Erosion from removal of vegetation;
Removal of carbon sinks (trees);
Inefficient use of fuel;
Urban growth where water is scarce;
Human population and consumption level.
According to the 2008 Revision of the Official United Nations population estimates and projections, the world population is projected to reach 7 billion early in 2012, up from the current 6.9 billion (May 2009) and to exceed 9 billion people by 2050.
As always, population growth has a marked influence on levels of consumption and the efficiency of resource use. The impacts of the growing world population on land, water, energy, and biota resources are real and indeed overwhelming.
Clear scientific evidence suggests worldwide problems of food availability already have emerged. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 60% of the world population now is malnourished, the largest number reported in history.
More humans than ever before cover the earth with their urbanization, highways, and other activities. These activities impact on the availability of food resources.
To halt the escalating imbalance between expanding population numbers and the earth’s essential natural resources, humans must control their numbers.
At the same time, they must make efforts to conserve cropland, freshwater, energy, biodiversity, and the other life-supporting environmental resources.
People in developed countries could contribute by reducing their high consumption of all natural resources, especially fossil fuels.
Historically there has been a close correlation between economic growth and environmental degradation. As communities grow, so do the environment declines.
There is concern that, unless resource use is checked, modern global civilization will follow the path of ancient civilizations that collapsed through over exploitation of their resource base.
While conventional economics is concerned largely with economic growth and the efficient allocation of resources, ecological economics has the explicit goal of sustainable scale rather than continual growth, fair distribution and efficient allocation, in that order.
Sustainability studies have analyzed ways to reduce the amount of resource e.g. water, energy, or materials needed for the production, consumption and disposal of a unit of goods or service whether this be achieved from improved economic management, product design or new technology.
Ecological economics includes the study of societal metabolism, the throughput of resources that enter and exit the economic system in relation to environmental quality.