In this lesson you will comprehend how the consumption of everyday products affects the availability of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources for future generations and learn about environmental threats to our home.
Read the following information to help you define three different types of resources—renewable, nonrenewable, perpetual.
1. On earth, there are only limited amounts of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas. There are also only limited amounts of minerals, such as iron, copper and bauxite. These resources either cannot be replaced by natural processes or require millions of years to replenish.
2. Some renewable and nonrenewable resources can be recycled or reused. This process decreases the rate at which the supplies of these resources are depleted. For example, aluminum cans can be recycled and turned into “new” cans or other aluminum products many times over. Recycling reduces the need to mine bauxite, the mineral used to manufacture aluminum.
3. Renewable natural resources include plants, animals and water when they are properly cared for. Minerals and fossil fuels such as coal and oil are examples of nonrenewable natural resources.
4. Trees, wildlife, water and many other natural resources are replaced by natural processes. Plants and animals can also be replenished by human activities. Water is continuously cycled and reused. Sunlight, wind, geothermal heat, tides and flowing water are perpetual resources.
Water is a resource that is typically considered renewable. However, over usage of water can cause us to use it faster than it is replenished.