"Discovery Commander Eileen Collins described on Thursday how widespread environmental destruction on Earth is visible from the shuttle.
Discovery is currently linked with the International Space Station, orbiting 352km (220 miles) above the Earth.
"Sometimes you can see how there is erosion, and you can see how there is deforestation," Commander Collins said.
"It's very widespread in some parts of the world. We would like to see, from the astronauts' point of view, people take good care of the Earth and replace the resources that have been used."
Commander Collins, who is making her fourth shuttle flight, said her view from space emphasised how Earth's atmosphere must be protected too.
"The atmosphere almost looks like an eggshell on an egg, it's so very thin," she said. "We know that we don't have much air - we need to protect what we have.""