A natural resource is anything that people can use which comes from the natural environment. Examples of natural resources are air, water, wood, oil, wind energy, iron, and coal. Refined oil and hydro-electric energy are not natural resources because people make them.
Supply[change | change source]
We often say there are two sorts of natural resources: renewable resources and non-renewable resources.
- A renewable resource is one which can be used again and again. For example, soil, sunlight and water are renewable resources. However, in some circumstances, even water is not renewable easily. Wood is a renewable resource, but it takes time to renew and in some places people use the land for something else. Soil, if it blows away, is not easy to renew.
- A non-renewable resource is a resource that does not grow and come back, or a resource that would take a very long time to come back. For example, coal is a non-renewable resource. When we use coal, there is less coal afterward. The non-renewable resource can be used directly (for example, burning oil to cook), or we can find a renewable resource to use (for example, using wind energy to make electricity to cook).
Most natural resources are limited. This means they will eventually run out. A perpetual resource has a never-ending supply. Some examples of perpetual resources include solar energy, tidal energy, and wind energy. There may be a limit to how much can be taken in a given day or year, but that amount can be taken again next day or next year.
Some of the things influencing supply of resources include whether it is able to be recycled, and the availability of suitable substitutes for the material. Non-renewable resources cannot be recycled. For example, fossil fuels cannot be recycled.
Demand[change | change source]
The demand for resources can change with new technology, new needs, and new economics (e.g. changes in cost of the resources). Some material can go completely out of use, if people do not want it any more. Demand of many natural resources is very high, but availability of some, such as precious metals, is very low.
Availability[change | change source]
Different places have different natural resources. When people do not have a certain resource they need, they can either replace it with another resource, or trade with another country to get the resource. People have sometimes fought to have them (for example, spices, water, arable farmland, gold, or petroleum).
When people do not have some resources, their quality of life can get lower. So, people protect resources. When they can not get clean water, people may become ill; if there is not enough wood, trees will be cut and the forest will disappear over time (deforestation); if there are not enough fish in a sea, people can die of starvation. Renewable resources include crops, wind, hydroelectric power, fish, and sunlight. Many people carefully save their natural resources so that others can use them in future.
References[change | change source]
Other websites[change | change source]
- ↑ASTM E60 E2114-08 Standard terminology for sustainability, ASTM, 2008, pp. 611-618 ISBN 978-0-8031-572
Protecting the Environment
Every company should invest in our environment. We live in a time when the environment is in danger, so it is important to protect it. We need a healthy environment in order to survive, so we must protect it. We need to protect the environment now to help prevent health problems, to maintain the ecosystem, and to preserve the Earth for our children.
Pollution from factories and cars can cause damage to the environment. It makes the air dirty. Breathing this dirty air causes health problems, particularly for children and the elderly. Pollution not only increases spending on health care, but also decreases working ability. We need to control the amounts of pollution we produce in order to prevent health problems.
We also need to pay attention to the ecosystem. Plant life, animal life, and people all depend on each other. An unhealthy environment disturbs this ecosystem. For example, changes in the environments might cause a certain kind of plant to die. If that plant is food for a certain kind of animal, the animal will die too. If people use that animal as food source, there could be big problem. To avoid the big problems, factories should pollute as little as possible and use natural resources rationally.
If we do not protect our environment it will continue to get worse and our children will suffer the consequences. The air and water will be dirtier, natural resources will become scarcer, and more plants and animals will die. Our children won’t have as much natural beauty to admire. Even worse, their well-being will be threatened.
Without clean air to breathe, a healthy ecosystem, and a future for our children, the human race will not survive. That is why protecting our environment is important. If we have a healthy environment not only the company is going to make a profit but also workers, customers and community.
—originally published in March, 2007; updated February, 2016More Student Writing