Natural resources are things we see in our environment that do not come as a result of man’s activities. They occur in their original form, untouched by man. There are several kinds of natural resources. From minerals to precious stones, to mountains and rivers, the earth is filled with several kinds of natural resources using its environment to help it take form and thrive. They can be classified based on their use and their features. Below are some of the natural resources we can find around us.
Renewable Natural Resources
These kinds of natural resources cannot be exhausted because they are abundant in supply. They can equally be replenished and reproduced through various ecosystems and are usually referred to as renewable resources.Â Good examples are wind and sunlight as well as biomass. They are renewable natural resources because man and other users of the resources cannot exhaust them because they are produced at a rate higher than their use. They are continually replenished and replaced faster than their consumption.
Non-Renewable Natural Resources
These kinds of natural resources are not available in abundant supply just as their name implies. They cannot be restored when after their use and their replacement is usually slower than their consumption rate. This is a problem to humans because excessive use of these resources would make them unavailable for future generations. Examples of these kinds of natural resources include coal, oil, petrol, natural gas, and other fossil fuels. These resources are usually produced from fossils that are millions of years old. This means that it takes this amount of years to replace any consumed or used non-renewable natural resources. Hence, over-exploitation of the resources by humans might lead to their termination.
Recyclable Natural Resources
These are those resources that can be reused after they have been initially used. Though these resources cannot be replaced, they can be reprocessed. Both non-recyclable and recyclable natural resources are parts of non-renewable resources. Metallic materials such as iron, copper, and aluminum are examples of these kinds of natural resources. They are available at the earth’s crust and can be easily found compared to fossil fuels.
Non-Recyclable Natural Resources
These can still fall under the non-renewable category because they cannot be recycled in any way, and their replacement usually takes a very long time. A lot of energy resources such as fossil fuels are non-recyclable and are not easily replaced. Fossil fuels that are currently being extracted through oil rigging have been produced thousands and even millions of years ago.
Biotic and abiotic Natural Resources
These kinds of natural resources are categorized based on their source. The biotic natural resources are living things that can reproduce and multiply in numbers. They are abundant in the biosphere, including, wildlife, fish, agriculture, fuels from decayed matter, and rainforests. The abiotic natural resources are non-living things that cannot easily replace themselves. They include land, water, and minerals like aluminum, silver, gold, and copper. These abiotic resources have extremely slow rate of replenishment as regards the lifespan of humans.