Natural resources are derived from the environment. Many of them are essential for our survival while others are used for satisfying our needs.
Abundant and diverse natural resources and high standards of environmental quality are hallmarks of a dynamic and healthy ecosystem. Such areas are highly prized for aesthetic reasons, and for the healthy setting they provide for human, animal, and plant life. Unfortunately, some of these resources have been eliminated in some areas or are under threat of elimination form competing uses, decline in resources, or decline in environmental quality.
Natural resources can be categorized as either renewable or non-renewable:
Renewable resources can be replenished naturally. Some of these resources, like sunlight, air, and wind are continuously available and their quantity is not noticeably affected by human consumption. However, many renewable resources do not have such a rapid recovery rate, and they are susceptible to depletion by over-use. Virginia Beach is now at a crossroads where it is appropriate to rethink the City's approach to how environmental assets are used, managed, and protected, both in the short and long term.
A non-renewable resource is a natural resource which cannot be produced, grown, generated, or used on a scale that can sustain its consumption rate. Fossil fuels ( such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas), types of nuclear power (uranium), and minerals are the most common resources included in this category. By embarking on a more direct and coherent approach to environmental stewardship, the City of Virginia Beach hopes to lessen the depletion of non-renewable natural resources.
Virginia Beach City Public Schools is Making a Difference!
Virginia Beach City Public Schools understands the importance of conserving resources and protecting our environment. The 70,000 students and approximately 15, 000 full and part-time employees, are practicing unique and innovative conservation efforts that can be found in every office and school within the school district.
Virginia Beach Public Schools Savings Facts
- Energy Savings - $4 million per year
- Water Saving - 32 million gallons per year
- Recycling - 1,200 tons per year
Renaissance Academy Savings Facts
The Renaissance Academy, completed in 2010, is an example of an environmentally sustainable school. Some of the features include: a rainwater harvesting system that uses stored rainwater to flush the toilets, solar heated hot water, lighting sensors to supplement natural lighting, an interactive kiosk
allows visitors and students to access data on all of these systems, including the geothermal and photovoltaic panels.
- Energy Savings - $105,000 per year
- Water Saving - 950,000 gallons per year
- Recycling - 14 tons per year
Virginia Aquarium - Green Practices
The Aquarium is committed to educating the public about the marine environment and inspiring conservation of wild animals and wild places. Its Green Team promotes environmentally-responsible and sustainable operations and awareness about green resources and practices in support of the Aquarium's conservation mission. In 2008, the Aquarium was named the first "Virginia Green" Attraction in the state. Also, in 2011, its E-cycling Program received the Virginia Green Travel Stars Award for the Most Innovative Green Project. To overview the Aquarium's green practices, click here