The Earth's natural resources are materials such as oil, water and soil, which exist naturally within the earth's environment. Many are essential for mankind to exist.
Natural resources can be categorised as follows:
Renewable resources: can be replenished or reproduced easily. Some of them, like sunlight, air, wind, etc., are continuously available and their quantity is not affected by human consumption. Some renewable resources can be depleted by human use; but may be replenished e.g. crops and timber.
Non-renewable resources: are formed over a long geological timeframe, therefore as these are formed slowly, they cannot be replenished once they are used. These include minerals and fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil.
A non-renewable resource cannot be produced, grown, or generated, at present mankind is consuming them much faster than nature can create them.
Glossary of Terms go back.