The author defines irrational use of resources as actions that are not based on existing knowledge of resources and wasteful use as actions using more resources than necessary. The three basic environmental impacts of irrational and wasteful uses are encroachment, exhaustion, and distribution effects. Man's contamination of the planet, which increased with population growth and technological advances that enable him to divert resources, can be altered by improving information and setting better criteria for the use of resources. The demand for resources can be lowered if life styles, prices, and income distribution patterns are modified to make resources use less wasteful and living conditions more equitable. The author reviews the present means of managing resources through minimum safety and social standards and notes that this approach leads to ownership and control problems. He suggests that criteria should ensure that all costs and benefits of a project be considered and that the project should promise a net positive change for better resource use. Several questions are suggested for use in assessing the comprehensiveness and relevancy of criteria.