Anything in the environment ‘which can be used’ is called a ‘natural resource’. Some of our important natural resources are: Forests and Wildlife, Water, Coal and Petroleum. A system of controlling the use of natural resources in such a way as to avoid their wastage and to use them in the most effective way is called management of natural resources. The natural resources are a ‘tool’ of development for human beings but it should be ‘sustainable development’. The development which meets the current basic human needs and also preserves the resources for the needs of future generations is called sustainable development. And to protect the environment from harm or destruction is said to ‘conserve’ the environment. In this chapter we will describe how to use our natural resources so as to achieve sustainable development as well as to conserve our environment.
Why do We Need to Manage Our Resources
All the things which we use such as food, clothes, furniture, fuels, vehicles, water, etc., are obtained from the resources on this earth. We need to manage our natural resources because of the following reasons:
1. The resources of the earth are limited. Because of the rapid increase in human population, the demand for resources is increasing day by day. The proper management can ensure that the natural resources are used judiciously so that they fulfil the needs of present generation and also last for the generations to come.
2. The proper management of natural resources takes into consideration long-term perspective and prevents their exploitation to the hilt for short-term gains.
3. The proper management can ensure equitable distribution of natural resources so that all the people can benefit from the development of these resources.
4. The proper management will take into consideration the damage caused to the environment during the ‘extraction’ or ‘use’ of the natural resources and find ways and means to minimise this damage. For example, if some forest trees have to be cut for various purposes, then the damage to the environment can be minimised by planting new saplings in place of cut down trees.
2. Forests and Wildlife
A large area of land on which trees and other plants grow naturally is called a forest. And the wild animals (like lion, tiger, elephants, deer, snakes, etc.) and birds which live in a forest, are called wildlife.
The ‘plants’ and ‘animals’ of a forest are called ‘flora’ and ‘fauna’ respectively. Due to the presence of a large number of species, forests are said to be ‘biodiversity hotspots’. One of the main aims of the management of forests and wildlife is to conserve the biodiversity which we have inherited.
This is because the loss of biodiversity leads to the loss of ecological stability of the forest ecosystem. We will now discuss the various stakeholders in the management of forests and their aspirations.
A person with an interest or concern in something is called a stakeholder. When we consider the management of forests, we find that there are four stakeholders in it. These are:
1. The people who live in and around the forest and are dependent to some extent on forest produce to lead their life.
2. The Forest Department of the Government which owns the forest land and controls the resources from the forest.
3. The industrialists who use various forest products for their factories, such as wood for making paper and furniture, and tendu leaves for making bidis, etc.
4. The forest and wildlife activists who want to see the forests in their pristine form (original condition).
We will now describe what each of these stakeholder groups needs or gets out of the forests. The people who live in villages around the forests take firewood from the forest trees. They usually lop the branches of the trees and pluck their leaves but do not cut down the whole trees.
They take bamboo from the forest to make their huts and baskets for collecting and storing food materials. The local people take wood for making agricultural implements and gather fruits, nuts and medicinal herbs from the forest. They also collect green fodder and graze their cattle in the forest. On the whole, people living near the forests usually use the resources of the forests in a way that much damage is not done to the environment. In fact, the people living near forests had developed practices to ensure that the forest resources were used in a sustainable manner. So, the damage caused to forests cannot be attributed to only the local people living around the forests.
The Forest Department has a major stake in the resources of forests and wildlife because it is a good source of revenue for the Government. Most of the forest revenue comes from the sale of cut down forest trees for timber. In order to plant trees for timber such as pine, teak, and eucalyptus, etc., huge areas of forests are cleared of all vegetation. This destroys a large amount of biodiversity in the area which harms the environment. The management of protected forest areas by keeping the local people out completely has some ill effects too. This will become clear from the following example. The great Himalayan National Park is a protected forest area which contains alpine meadows that were earlier grazed by outside sheep in summer. So, nomadic shepherds drove their flock of sheep up from the valley to this area every summer. After the formation of Himalayan National Park, the grazing by sheep was not allowed. This has a harmful effect on the growth of vegetation because, without regular grazing by sheep, the grass first grows very tall and then falls over, preventing fresh growth from below. The developmental projects like building roads through the forest area and construction of dams are also damaging the forests. Even the large inflow of tourists to the forests for observing wildlife, building rest-houses for tourists within the forest and dumping of waste materials by the tourists in the forest, are damaging the forest environment.
Industrialists have a major vested interest in forest resources. They consider the forests as merely a source of raw material for their industry. Some of the major industries which are based on
forest produce are: Timber industry, Paper manufacturing industry, Lac industry and Sports equipment industry. In fact, most of the deforestation is caused by industrial needs. It is true that wood from the forest trees is needed for manufacturing various types of goods required for development but at the same time efforts should be made to make up the loss of trees cut down from the forest. This can be done by planting saplings in the forest in place of cut down trees. It should be noted that the destruction of forests affects not just the availability of forest products but also the quality of soil and the sources of water.
A major programme called silviculture has been started to replenish the forests by growing more trees and plants. Thus, silviculture is a major programme started to replenish depleting forests. The silviculture programme has many advantages:
(i) It produces a large quantity of raw materials for industry
(ii) It increases the area of earth under forests
(iii) It maintains a perfect water cycle in nature
(iv) It prevents soil erosion
(v) It prevents floods
There are certain people who are not dependent on the forests in any way but who want forests and wildlife to be conserved to prevent undue damage to the environment.
They started by working for the conservation of large wild animals such as tigers, lions, elephants, and rhinoceros but they now recognise the need to preserve forests as well. This is because without preserving forests, we cannot conserve wildlife. We will now give two instances where ordinary people have played a great role in the conservation of forests by preventing them from being cut down indiscriminately.
(i) The Case of Khejri Trees
There is a Bishnoi community in Rajasthan state of our country for whom conservation of forests and wildlife has been a religious belief. In 1731, Amrita Devi Bishnoi led a group of 363 persons who sacrificed their lives for the protection of khejri trees in khejrali village near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. This shows the determination of some people to work for the conservation of their natural environment. The Government has recently instituted an ‘Amrita Devi Bishnoi National Award for Wildlife Conservation’ in the memory of Amrita Devi Bishnoi.
(ii) The Chipko Andolan
Another example of the contribution of common people towards the conservation of forests is the Chipko Andolan. The Chipko Andolan originated from an incident in a remote village called ‘Reni’ in Garhwal, high up in the Himalayas in the early 1970s. A logging contractor had been allowed to cut down trees in a forest close to a village. The people of the village did not want this forest to be cut down because it would have spoiled their healthy environment. One day, when the men folk of the village were out for work, the contractor’s workers came in the forest to cut down the trees. In the absence of men, the women of the village reached the forest quickly and clasped the tree trunks with their arms, preventing the workers from cutting down the trees. The forest trees were thus saved. The Chipko Movement quickly spread across all the communities and helped in the conservation of forests.
Participation of Local People in the Management of Forests
People’s participation in the management of forests can help in increasing forest produce as well as in their conservation. An example of how local people’s participation in the management of forests led to the revival of degraded forests is like this: In 1972, the West Bengal Forest Department formulated a novel scheme to revive the degraded sal forests by involving the local people. A beginning was made in the Arabari forest range of Midnapore district. A far-sighted forest officer A.K. Banerjee involved the villagers of the area around the forest in the protection of 1272 hectares of badly degraded sal forest. In return for help in protecting the forest, the villagers were given employment in both silviculture and harvesting operations of the forest, 25 per cent of the final harvest produce, and were allowed to collect firewood and fodder from the forest area on a nominal payment.
With the active and willing participation of local people living around the forest, the degraded sal forest of Arabari became thick and green within ten years. This is how participation of local people can lead to efficient management of forests.
Conservation of Wildlife
The large scale poaching of wild animals residing in the forests by man is a serious threat to the survival of many animal and bird species. This also disturbs the food chains in which these animals occur resulting in undesirable consequences for the whole ecosystem. This point will become more clear from the following example. Snake is a wild animal. The skin of snakes is in great demand for making fancy leather goods, so the snake skin sells at a high price in the market. Now, to make some easy money, some people kill the snakes mdiscriminately in large numbers to obtain their skin. This large scale killing of snakes disrupts the food chains in which snakes occur and creates an imbalance in nature. For example, snake is a friend of the farmer in the sense that it eats vermins like rats and mice which are pests and damage the crops. Now, when the snakes are killed in large numbers to obtain their skin, the population of snakes is reduced greatly. Now, due to the lesser number of ‘predator’ snakes, the population of pests like rats and mice in crop-fields increases. The increased number of rats and mice in the fields damages the standing crops leading to loss in the production of food-grains.
It is very important to conserve wildlife to maintain the ecological balance in nature and to preserve the gene pool. Some of the measures to be taken for the conservation of wildlife are given below:
1. Laws should be made to impose a total ban on poaching or capturing of any animal or bird belonging to an endangered species. The poaching of an endangered species of animals and birds should be made a punishable offence. Such laws should not remain on paper only, they should be enforced strictly.
2. Even if some type of wild animals and birds are in abundance today, their indiscriminate killing should not be allowed by the forest authorities.
3. The natural habitats of wild animals and birds should be preserved by establishing National Parks and Sanctuaries throughout the country.
4. The Government Department connected with the conservation of wildlife should conduct a periodic survey in all the forests, National Parks and Sanctuaries to have knowledge of the population of all species of wild animals and birds, so that these animals can be helped in the times of distress like floods and famines.
5. Special attention should be paid to the conservation of endangered species of wild animals and birds to prevent their extinction altogether.
6. The unauthorised felling of forest trees for timber trade and fuel-wood should be curbed immediately. This is because depletion of forests destroys the natural habitat of wild animals and birds, and exposes them to the cruelty of man as well as nature.
7. In the case of Government authorised felling of forest trees, for every acre of forest cut down, an equal area of land should be planted with saplings of trees to make up for the loss in the long run.
3. Water for all
Water is the basic necessity for all forms of life, human beings, other animals as well as plants.
Some parts of our country have good resources of water whereas other parts suffer from chronic water shortage. The regions having good availability of water are flourishing because they have good crops but the regions having shortage of water are in the thick of poverty because of poor crop growth. It is, therefore, necessary to have proper management of available water resources so that there is an equitable distribution of water for all the people in all the parts of the country. The various sources of water which are available to us are: Rains, Rivers, Lakes, Ponds, Wells, Oceans and Glaciers. We will discuss the management of water from some of these sources of water in detail. Let us start with rains.
Rain is a very important source of water. Rains in India are largely due to monsoon which lasts for a few months. This means that most of the rainwater falls on the earth in a few months of the year. This rainwater fills the lakes and ponds, and also flows into rivers. Some rainwater also seeps into the ground and becomes available as ground water. Though most of the parts of our country get a good rainfall during monsoon but due to the loss of vegetation cover, much water does not seep into the ground, it rather flows into rivers. Rainwater is stored in lakes for use over a long period of time. There are some natural lakes in our country. Some artificial lakes have also been made at various places to store rainwater to meet the increasing demand for water. In fact, many cities of our country depend on such lakes for their water supply during the year.
Despite good rains, we are not able to meet the demand for water of all the people because:
(i) our population is increasing rapidly.
(ii) due to lack of sufficient vegetation cover on ground, only a little rain water seeps into the ground and gets stored as ground water.
(iii) the high yielding varieties of crops require much more water for irrigation.
(iv) discharge of untreated sewage and industrial wastes into rivers and lakes reduces the availability of usable water.
(v) the changing life-style of people, especially in urban areas, is consuming more water.
Rivers are another important source of water. Rivers get their water supply from the melting of snow lying on the peaks of snow mountains as well as from rains. The management of river-water is done by constructing dams on rivers.
In order to make proper use of river water, dams are constructed across the rivers to regulate the flow of water. In our country dams have been built across many rivers. The large reservoir of a dam stores a huge amount of water. This stored water is then allowed to flow downstream at the desired rate. Bhakra Dam is one such dam which has been built across the river Satluj in the state of Punjab in our country. Dams built across the rivers are big storehouses of river water.
Dams are useful for the society in the following ways
Water from a dam is used for irrigation in fields through a network of canals. Dams ensure round the year water supply to the crop fields and help raise agricultural production.
For example, Indira Gandhi Canal originating from Bhakra Dam has brought greenery to considerable areas of Rajasthan.
Water from a dam is supplied to the people in towns and cities through pipelines after suitable treatment. In this way, construction of dams ensures continuous water supply in the region.
The falling water from the dam is used for generating electricity. The water rushing down the dam turns turbines which run electric generators. The electricity thus produced is called hydroelectricity.
The construction of high-rise dams for the management of river water and generation of electricity has certain problems associated with it. The public opposition to the construction of large dams on rivers is mainly due to the following three problems likely to be created by them:
(i) Social Problems
Due to the construction of high-rise dams, a large number of human settlements are submerged in the water of large reservoir formed by the dam and many people are rendered homeless. This creates a social problem. It is, therefore, necessary that all the people who are displaced from the dam site are given adequate compensation by the Government for rehabilitation so as to start their life afresh.
(ii) Environmental Problems
The construction of high-rise dams on the rivers contributes to deforestation and loss of biodiversity. This is because a vast variety of flora and fauna get submerged in the water of large reservoir formed by the dam and disturb the ecological balance.
(iii) Economic Problems
Some people say that the construction of high-rise dams involves the spending of huge amount of public money without the generation of proportionate benefits. On the other hand, others say that there can be no real progress without building dams because they allow us to manage our water resources properly
and at the same time give us much needed electricity. So, whether the construction of dams on rivers is an economic problem or not is a debatable question.
The opposition to the construction of Tehri Dam on the river Ganga and raising the height of Sardar Sarovar Dam on the river Narmada are due to such problems. We have all heard about the protests by the Narmada Bachao Andolan against the raising of height of Sardar Sarovar Dam. So, before taking a decision to construct high-rise dams on rivers, or raising the height of existing dams, it is necessary to consider its long term effects on social life and environment carefully.
5. Pollution of River Water
The water in most of our rivers is highly polluted. The pollution of river water is caused by the dumping of untreated sewage and industrial wastes into it. For example, the river Ganga which flows for over 2500 kilometres from Gangotri in the Himalayas to Ganga Sagar in the Bay of Bengal is being turned into a dirty water drain by the discharge of untreated sewage and industrial wastes emanating from more than a hundred towns and cities which lie along its way. In addition to sewage and industrial wastes, the pollution of river Ganga is also caused by other human activities like bathing, washing of clothes, immersion of ashes of the dead and dumping of unburnt corpses in its water. The industries also discharge chemical effluents into the river water. The toxicity of these chemical effluents kills the fish in many parts of the river.
The contamination of river water can be usually found from two factors: (i) the presence of coliform bacteria in river water, and (ii) measurement of pH of river water. Coliform is a group of bacteria found in human intestines. The presence of coliform in the river water indicates its contamination by disease-causing micro-organisms. This is because though coliform itself is harmless but its presence in river water indicates that other, more harmful, intestinal bacteria might also be present. The pH of river water is measured by using universal indicator paper. If the pH of river water is found to be below 7, then the river water will be acidic and hence polluted. A multicrore ‘Ganga Action Plan’ (GAP) project was launched in 1985 to clean the river Ganga and make its water pollution free.
Wells and tube-wells are yet another source of water. Some of the rainwater which falls on earth seeps through the soil and goes down under the surface of the earth. Ultimately this water is stopped by some hard rocks and collects there. This underground water is taken out by digging a ‘well’ into the ground. This is called well water. Such wells are a common sight in village areas. The deep tube-wells called ‘bore-wells’ are also dug into the earth which are much deeper than the ordinary wells and their water is drawn out by using water pumps. This water is used for the irrigation of crops and for drinking purposes.
When too much water is pumped out through deep tube-wells then the water table gets lowered too much. This lowering of water table decreases the amount of available underground water. In order to maintain the water table at a proper depth, it is necessary to ensure better percolation of rainwater into the soil. A scheme called ‘rainwater harvesting’ is recommended to stop flowing rainwater and make it percolate into the soil more efficiently.
6. Rainwater Harvesting
The people in rural India have used a large number of water collecting methods to capture as much rainwater as possible which had fallen on their land. Some of the methods used for water harvesting by the rural people were: Digging of small pits and lakes; Building of small earthen dams; Construction of dykes; Construction of sand and limestone reservoirs; and setting up of roof-top water collecting units. All these methods of collecting and saving rain water have recharged the depleting groundwater levels.
Rainwater harvesting is an age-old practice in India. Water-harvesting techniques used depend on the location where it is to be used. Some of the ancient ‘water harvesting structures’ used in different rural regions of our country are given below:
Ancient water harvesting structure
Khadin, Tanks, Nadis
3. Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh
Ahars and Pynes
5. Himachal Pradesh
6. Jammu region
7. Tamil Nadu
We will now describe a traditional rainwater harvesting system for agriculture called khadin which is used in Rajasthan. The main feature of khadin system of rainwater harvesting is a very long earthen embankment called ‘bund’ built across the lower edge of the sloping farmland. The rainwater from catchment area flows down the slopes and stopped by the bund to form a reservoir.
The excess water flows across the bund through sluiceways provided for this purpose and goes into shallow wells dug behind the bund. The rainwater which collects in the reservoir formed by the bund, and in the well, seeps slowly into the land. This water-saturated land is subsequently used* for growing crops.
Please note that the main purpose of water harvesting is not to hold rainwater on the surface of the earth but to make rainwater percolate under the ground so as to recharge ‘groundwater’. The various advantages of water stored in the ground are as follows:
(i) The water stored in ground does not evaporate.
(ii) The water stored in ground spreads out to recharge wells and provides moisture for crops over a wide area.
(iii) The water stored in ground does not promote breeding of mosquitoes (unlike stagnant water collected in ponds or artificial lakes).
(iv) The water stored in ground is protected from contamination by human and animal wastes.
(v) The water stored in ground is utilised for the benefit of local population.
Rainwater harvesting in rural areas not only increases the agricultural production and income of the farmers but also mitigates the effect of droughts and floods, and increases the life of downstream dams and reservoirs.
Rainwater Harvesting in Urban Areas (City Areas)
In rural areas, most of the ground has open soil due to which rainwater can seep into the ground naturally to make up for the loss in groundwater due to excessive use. In urban areas, however, most of the ground is covered with buildings, concrete pavements and metal roads due to which only very little rainwater seeps into the ground naturally. Most of the rainwater which falls in cities flows into dirty water drains and goes away. So, rainwater harvesting is necessary in city areas. Rainwater harvesting by making more water percolate into the ground is usually done in those areas of a city where tube-wells for supplying water are located. This is to make sure that the tube-wells will never go dry.
The rainwater harvesting from open spaces around the buildings in a city is done by constructing percolation pits covered with concrete slabs having holes in them, and connected to a recharge well through a pipe.
Rainwater harvesting in open spaces around buildings to recharge groundwater.
The recharge well is about 1 metre in diameter and 3 metres deep. The rainwater falling in the open spaces around buildings goes into the percolation pit through the holes in its concrete slab cover. After filtration in percolation pit, rainwater enters the recharge well through the outlet pipe and gradually seeps into the soil. Please note that the purpose of recharge well is to collect the vast amount of water falling on the ground quickly when it rains and then make it seep into soil gradually. This groundwater can then be taken out through tube-wells as and when required. The advantage of rainwater harvesting is that it increases the availability of groundwater and helps in overcoming water shortage.
7. Coal and Petroleum
Coal and petroleum are called fossil fuels. Coal and petroleum are the natural resources which are important ‘sources’ of energy for us. Coal is used as a fuel as such in homes and in industry, or it is used to generate electricity at Thermal Power Plants. Petroleum products such as petrol and diesel are used as fuels in transport to run scooters, motorcycles, cars, buses, trucks, trains, ships and aeroplanes. Kerosene and LPG obtained from petroleum are used as domestic fuels for cooking food, etc.
Since the industrial revolution, we have been using increasing amounts of energy to meet our basic needs and for the manufacture of goods upon which our life depends. ‘All these energy needs have so far been met mostly by coal and petroleum reserves of the earth.
Coal and Petroleum in the Earth are Limited
Coal and petroleum were formed from the degradation of biomass of plants and animals respectively, buried deep under the earth millions of years ago. We obtain coal from the ‘coal mines’ dug into the earth and petroleum is obtained by digging ‘oil wells’ deep in the earth. The crude petroleum oil obtained from
oil wells is then separated into fuels such as LPG, petrol, diesel and kerosene. We have been using coal and petroleum resources at such a rapid rate in the past that they will get exhausted in the near future. It has been estimated that at the present rate of consumption, the known petroleum reserves of the earth will last us for just about 40 years more and the coal will last for about another 200 years only. Once exhausted, coal and petroleum will not be available to us in near future. It is, therefore, necessary to conserve coal and petroleum resources of the earth by reducing their consumption so that they may last for as long as possible.
Steps to Reduce the Consumption of Coal and Petroleum
Coal is used mainly to produce electricity. So, if we can save electricity, then the consumption of coal will be automatically reduced. Similarly, the petroleum products kerosene and LPG are used for cooking food, and petrol and diesel are used as fuel in motor vehicles, so if we can save on kerosene, LPG, petrol and diesel, then the consumption of petroleum will also get reduced. Some of the steps which can be taken to conserve energy resources are as follows:
1. Switch off the lights, fans, television and other electrical appliances when not needed. This will save a lot of electricity.
2. Use energy efficient electrical appliances to save electricity. This can be done by using Compact Fluorescent Lamps and fluorescent tube-lights instead of traditional filament-type electric bulbs (because CFL and tube-lights consume much less electric energy as compared to filament-type electric bulbs for producing the same amount of light).
3. Use stairs to climb at least up to three floors of a building instead of taking a lift. This will save electricity.
4. Pressure cookers should be used for cooking food to save fuels like kerosene and LPG.
5. Good quality stoves should be used to burn fuels like kerosene and cooking gas so as to obtain maximum heat.
6. Solar cookers should be used to cook food whenever possible.
7. The use of biogas as domestic fuel should be encouraged in rural areas.
8. Bicycles should be used for covering short distances to save precious fuel like petrol.
9. Public transport system in the cities should be improved so that people do not commute in their personal vehicles. This will save a lot of petrol and diesel.
10. Fuel efficient engines of motor vehicles should be designed to reduce the consumption of petrol and diesel.
Pollution Caused by Burning Coal and Petroleum Based Fuels
Since coal and petroleum have been formed from biomass, therefore, in addition to carbon and hydrogen, they also contain nitrogen and sulphur elements. When coal, and petroleum based fuels are burnt, the products of combustion are: Carbon dioxide, Water, Sulphur dioxide and Nitrogen oxides. And if combustion takes place in an insufficient supply of air, then some carbon monoxide is also produced. Out of all the products of combustion of these fuels, only water is harmless and does not affect the environment. All other products are harmful and hence pollute the environment.
(i) Sulphur dioxide attacks the lungs causing bronchitis and other diseases. Sulphur dioxide also dissolves in rainwater making it acidic. The acid rain thus produced damages trees, plants, aquatic organisms, buildings and metal structures.
(ii) Just like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides attack the breathing system and also cause acid rain.
(iii) Carbon monoxide is a very poisonous gas. If carbon monoxide gets into our blood stream, it stops red blood cells from carrying oxygen from lungs to the rest of the body causing suffocation. Too much carbon monoxide causes death.
(iv) Though carbon dioxide is not a poisonous gas but it is a greenhouse gas which traps sun’s heat energy falling on the earth. The burning of more and more of fossil fuels is increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causing increased greenhouse effect leading to global warming.
From the above discussion we conclude that: We need to use fossil fuels (coal and petroleum) judiciously because:
(i) fossil fuels left in the earth are limited which will get exhausted soon, and
(ii) the products of combustion of fossil fuels pollute the environment.
8. The three R’s to Save the Environment
The excessive and indiscriminate use of various types of natural resources is spoiling our healthy environment day by day. We can save our environment by practising three R’s: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. This is explained below.
Reduce means that we use less of the natural resources by cutting down on those practices which lead to their wastage. For example, we can reduce the wastage of electricity by switching off unnecessary lights and fans. Saving electricity means that we are reducing the use of coal. We can reduce the wastage of water by repairing the leaking taps. We can reduce the use of LPG by making use of solar cooker for cooking food. We can reduce the use of petrol by walking or cycling for short distances. And we can reduce the use of water resources and fertilisers by preventing the wastage of food.
Recycling means that we should collect the used and discarded items of paper, plastic, glass and metals, and send them to the respective industries for making fresh paper, plastic, glass or metal objects.
In order to recycle materials, we should first segregate our domestic wastes properly so that the materials which can be recycled do not get dumped along with other household wastes which are to be thrown away.
Reuse means that, if possible, we should use the same things again. For example, the plastic jars in which we buy various food items like jams and pickles, etc., can be used later on for storing things like salt, spices, sugar, tea-leaves and pulses, etc. And paper envelopes can be reversed inside out and used again. The process of ‘reuse’ is better than that of ‘recycling’ because some energy is used to recycle old objects but no energy is required during reuse. The items which can be reused are, however, very limited.