I kind of know the answer, I'm just not sure if I'm answering it correctly.
Conservation: By bicycling rather than driving cars, we can conserve petroleum and reduce air pollution.
Recycling: By recycling glass bottles, you can conserve sand and other materials that are needed to make glass.
Recycling and conserving tend to have a domino effect on the environment. The more we are able to recycle the more natural resources we save. As the above poster mentioned this also has a positive effect on the environment as a whole.
Conservation of fossil fuels can be accomplished by using public transportation. If more people used subways and buses, less fossil fuels would have to be burned to help transport people to work each day. This in turn would protect the environment because fossil fuels produce greenhouse gases. When carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur are released into the atmosphere, these can lead to global warming. Also, particulate matter is harmful to people with breathing conditions like emphysema and asthma. Recycling plastics helps to protect the environment because there will be less of these items in landfills and polluting the land and water. Recycled plastics can be made into playground materials, building materials and furniture. There are many ways to conserve our natural resources and to be less wasteful and recycle the materials we currently have.
Conservation and recycling extend the life of natural resources because the natural resources are no longer being used the way they used to be. People in general are becoming more informed in regards to the importance of conservation and recycling. As long as there is an increased awareness regrading these issues then natural resources should last longer.
There are other ways that recycling cuts down on the usage of natural resources in addition to conserving other materials. I will use your glass bottles example. Not only does recycling conserve materials that are used to make the glass, but it also conserves the energy that is used to make the glass.
I think you're on the right track with a question like this. There are dozens of examples to choose from, though, depending on what your teacher is asking for, you might want to get a little more detailed with your examples.
Take aluminum cans, for example. Bauxite, the natural mineral from which aluminum is refined, takes Huge amounts of electricity to process. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough electricity to run a television for 3 hours. In addition, we are not mining the Earth, destroying watershed or adding silt and toxic wastes to rivers by doing so.
Recycling newspaper, as another example, is very simple, and requires very little separation. The trees that are saved protect natural resources and the environment in a number of ways, including providing fish and bird habitats, cleaning CO2 and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and keeping watersheds intact.