Natural resources are materials from the Earth that are used to support life and meet people’s needs. Any natural substance that humans use can be considered a natural resource. Oil, coal, natural gas, metals, stone and sand are natural resources. Other natural resources are air, sunlight, soil and water. Animals, birds, fish and plants are natural resources as well. Natural resources are used to make food, fuel and raw materials for the production of goods. All of the food that people eat comes from plants or animals. Natural resources such as coal, natural gas and oil provide heat, light and power. Natural resources also are the raw materials for making products that we use everyday from our toothbrush and lunch box to our clothes, cars, televisions, computers and refrigerators. this condition could pose dangers around the world such as flooding, drought and disease. Extracting and using natural resources also can disturb relationships within ecosystems. What are ecosystems? Ecosystems, which include ponds, wood lots and fields, are self-regulating communities of plants and animals that interact with each other and their non-living environment. For example, trees cleared from a field can destroy habitats used by many animals, forcing them to find homes elsewhere. If these animals leave the ecosystem, further disturbances can occur within plant and animal populations that depend on these species. Extracting and using natural resources – along with other human activities – may decrease biodiversity – that is the variety of organisms that live on the Earth. Diminishing the Earth’s biodiversity has a substantial human cost because
Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources
Renewable resources are those natural resources such as trees, water, sun and wind that can be replenished at about the same rate at which they are used. Renewable resources, however, can be depleted if not properly managed or conserved. Nonrenewable resources are those natural...