Natural resources are a group of resources that occur naturally within an environment and are not artificially constructed. Natural resources are often used by people to meet specific needs. They can be used to form other resources and may be living, such as fish or vegetable or non-living such as air or water. Some natural resources require processing to extract the resources such as metal ores or petroleum oil.
How are natural resources classified?
Natural resources are often classified into two groups, renewable and non-renewable resources. Renewable resources are those which either regrow or reproduce, such as trees and animals, or continue to exist after they have been used, such as sunlight and air. Non-renewable resources are those natural resources that are finite or cannot be replenished such as coal or other fossil fuels and metals. There are also natural resources which are perpetual, meaning they will continue to be produced such as sunlight, wind, salt and stone. Natural resources can also be ubiquitous, meaning that they exist everywhere such as sunlight and air, but most natural resources are not ubiquitous and exist only in limited places and amounts.
What are Natural resources?
Below is a list of some of the most common natural resources.
Biotic resources: These are resources obtained from the biosphere. They are living and organic resources.
- Fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and petroleum oil
- Fruits, vegetables and grains
- Waxes, saps and syrups (from trees and plants)
Abiotic resources: These are resources that come from, or are, non-living or non-organic materials.
- Fresh water
- Heavy metals such as gold, silver, iron, copper and zinc
- Precious jewels such as diamonds, rubies and opals
- Gases such as hydrogen, oxygen and methane
- Minerals such as quartz and feldspar
- Rock such as marble and sandstone
- Sand and gravel