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Natural Resources – Definition, Types, and Examples

Last Updated : 06 Feb, 2024
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Natural resources refer to those resources which exist on the planet, independent of the activities and actions of humans. Some common examples of natural resources include sunlight, water, soil, stone, plants, fossil fuels, etc.

Natural Resources

Types of Natural Resources

Let’s learn about Natural Resources in detail, including its types, uses and examples.

Natural Resources Definition

Natural resources are defined as resources which exist independent of human actions.

They 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. 

Types of Natural Resources

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

  1. Renewable Resources 
  2. Non-Renewable Resources 

Let’s learn about them in some detail.

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 vs. 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.

Uses of Natural Resources

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. They 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.

They are crucial for the production of energy, goods for industry, and food. Its availability has a direct impact on employment across a wide range of industries. The wealth of natural resources 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.


FAQs on Natural Resources

What are Natural Resources?

Natural resources are vital elements found in nature, like fresh water, forests, and sunlight, that humans and ecosystems depend on.

What comes from natural resources?

Natural resources are raw materials which comes from environment and used to make products needed by humans like food, shelter , clothes etc. Natural resources include plants, soil, sunshine etc.

What are the types of 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.

Is human a natural resources?

Yes, humans are a natural resources as they themselves become a resource due to skill, intelligence, knowledge etc. and hence known as human resource.

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

What is the importance of resources?

Resources when they are used as a raw material tend to satisfy the needs and also comforts of humans and natural resources are the source of agriculture which tend to add up for economic importance as well as employment opportunities.

How are natural resources classified?

Natural resources and classified into biotic and abiotic resources.

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