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Natural Resources – Definition, Types, and Examples

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Natural resources refer to those resources which exist on the planet, independent of the activities and actions of humans. These resources are found in the environment and are developed without any intervention by human beings. Some common examples of natural resources include sunlight, water, soil, stone, plants, fossil fuels, etc.

Types of natural resources

Types of Natural Resources

Natural Resources

Natural resources are normally found in nature itself as the name recommends. A few regular resources are the air we inhale, the water we drink, minerals in the dirt, the land needed for a farming operation, and so on. Whatever can be found in nature that can be put to use by mankind should be characterized as a resource. Natural resources are substances derived from the earth, such as food, construction and clothing materials, fertilizers, metals, water, and geothermal energy. 

Natural resources are substances that occur naturally and are beneficial to man or may be useful under possible technological, economic, or social circumstances. Our ecosystems’ ability to replace these resources naturally has beyond the limits of sustainable resource management, and we are now utilizing more resources than the entire planet Earth is able to produce.

Different Types of Natural Resources

On the basis of their availability, natural resources are divided into the following types:

Renewable Resources 

Renewable resources are resources that are reestablished or renewed rapidly in a limited timeframe, such as wind, water, air, etc. They can be genuinely recuperated or supplanted after usage. Creatures can likewise be classified as sustainable resources since they can be raised and reared to duplicate posterity to substitute the more seasoned creatures. 

The sustainable unrefined components that come from living things in particular creatures and trees and are named natural inexhaustible resources while those that come from non-living things, for example, sun, water, and wind are named inorganic sustainable resources.

Non-renewable Resources 

Non-renewable resources are restricted resources. In the event that these resources are once finished, they won’t be supplanted again. These are the ones that can’t just be subbed or recuperated once they have been used or obliterated. Some creatures for the most part the jeopardized species are likewise viewed as non-sustainable in light of the fact that they are at the edge of annihilation. 

The non-inexhaustible materials that come from living things, for example, petroleum products are known as natural non-sustainable resources while those that come from non-living things like rocks, what’s more, soil are alluded to as inorganic non-inexhaustible resources.

Difference between Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources

Renewable Resources Non-Renewable Resources
It can be renewed rapidly in a limited timeframe It cannot be subbed once they have been used 
Sustainable in environment Limited in environment
Inexpensive and environmentally friendly High price and unfriendly to the environment
Wind, water, and air are some examples Coal and oil are some examples

5 Most important natural Resources

The 5 most important natural resources are:

  1. Soil: Different particles and nutrients make up soil. It promotes plant growth.
  2. Air: For all plants, animals, and humans to exist on this planet, the air they breathe must be clean. 
  3. Water: Earth is 70 percent covered with water and only 2 percent of that is freshwater.
  4. Forests: Forests maintain the world’s ecosystem and offer clean air.
  5. Iron: Iron is used to construct powerful weapons, vehicles, and structures. It is found as the mineral silica.

How Natural Resources are Used?

Natural resources are materials and substances that occur naturally in the environment. They can be renewable, like air and water, or non-renewable, like oil and coal. Natural resources are used to produce goods and services. Humans use natural resources for many purposes, including obtaining food, shelter, water, fuel, minerals, and other raw materials. We also use them for recreation and to support our economic activities.

Over time, human usage of natural resources has evolved. For instance, we are developing new methods to use the resources we already have more effectively, and we are using renewable resources more than we did in the past. However, we have difficulties in sustainably providing our demands as the global population expands and consumes more resources. Responsible resource management is crucial if we want to ensure that both present and future generations may benefit from natural resources.

Importance of Natural Resources

Natural resources are crucial to our daily life. They are necessary for the economic, social, and environmental health of the entire planet. Natural resources are crucial for the production of energy, goods for industry, and food. Natural resource availability has a direct impact on employment across a wide range of industries. Natural resource wealth makes a country affluent because it can be used to create financial capital. 

Examples of Natural Resources

Natural resources are materials and components that can be found within the environment. Some common examples of natural resources include water, air, soil, plants, animals, and minerals. These resources can be renewable or nonrenewable. 

  • Water is a renewable resource that is necessary for life. 
  • Air is a mixture of gases that is necessary for humans to breathe. 
  • Soil is the thin layer of rock and organic matter that covers the Earth’s surface. 
  • Plants are living organisms that produce food and oxygen for other animals through photosynthesis.
  • Minerals are used to make cell phones and computers.
  • Animals provide us with food and labor.

Related Links

  1. Types of Resources
  2. Conservation of Land Resources
  3. Conservation of Water Resources

FAQs on Natural Resources

Q1. What are natural resources?


Earth contains life and everything needed for species to survive, because of some resources accessible in the environment and are created without the involvement of human beings, they are termed as natural resources.

Q2. What are the three main natural resources?


The three main natural resources are water, air and soil without which we cannot survive. The earth is the only planet where we found all these resources to well-being for the living organism.

Q3. Define two types of natural resources based on their availability.


There are two main types of natural resources one is renewable and the other is nonrenewable resources. Renewable resources are those that are continuously used and have an unlimited supply. Examples include a wind, forest and water. Non-renewable resources are those that are scarce because of their depletable nature and whose supply may eventually run out. Minerals and fossil fuels are a few examples.

Q4. Why is it important to conserve natural resources?


It is important that natural resources must be protected and conserved by people. The use of natural resources by humans has left us in a situation in which we have depleted a lot of them. It is our duty to protect natural resources for the benefit of humanity in the future. The main goal of natural resource conservation is to protect and maintain resources that are derived either directly or indirectly from the natural world.

Q5. What are the 5 most important natural resources?


The 5 most important natural resources are:

  1. Soil
  2. Air 
  3. Water
  4. Forest
  5. Iron

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Last Updated : 02 May, 2023
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