Function:noun Etymology:Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin conservation-, conservatio, from conservareDate:14th century
— con·ser·va·tion·al \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conservation
1: a careful preservation and protection of something ; especially : planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect2: the preservation of a physical quantity during transformations or reactions
There is much more to conservation these days than simple protection, saving or preservation of an environment. Conservation has become a philosophy. You might consider the "voluntary simplicity" philosophies or the environmental protection agency as an outgrowth of the idea of conservation.
In the 1970s President Jimmy Carter appeared on television to urge the public to conserve. He suggested turning down the heat thermostat and putting on a sweater to save energy. These days, conservation means innovation and pursuit of alternative forms of energy that are less harmful to the environment. Reducing the amount of chloroflurocarbons that are released into the atmosphere
will slow the depletion of the ozone layer. And reducing the amount of CO2 emmissions from automobiles, coal-fired electricity plants, and other factory pollutants will reduce global warming.
Conservation is about saving our planet's ability to sustain human and other life.