Natural resources can be conserved through various methods. Use of alternative resources can conserve a given resource, but is done at the cost of the alternatives. Finding different ways of accomplishing the task or process that require smaller amounts of resources could be another method of conservation. Improved processing methods may allow for more efficient extraction of natural resources or may increase the amount of finished product yielded from a given amount of the raw resource. Some natural resources can be conserved through efforts aimed at sustaining renewable resources.
Possibly the most recognizable method of conserving resources is to recycle resources previously used. By reprocessing and using the same materials, the need to locate and consume new raw materials can be reduced. When new uses are developed for a given natural resource, there may be no alternative but to use that resource until further research may uncover other materials that could be used.