Introducing Renewable And Non Renewable Resources

We’re all introduced to important types of resources at school level. This knowledge disappears as we grow older and become busy with our lives. A quick recap of something important we learned during school days might help to make our life and this world wonderful.

What are Resources?

Let’s start with the basic definition of resources. All commodities used for satisfying our needs and wants are called resources. Many resources are in the hands of powerful businesses or governments. These resources are mostly mismanaged and consequently affects  humans and the environment.

Renewable and Non Renewable Resources

Resources are classified into the following two types: 

  • Renewable resources
  • Non Renewable resources 

Renewable Resources

The resources regularly consumed by humans but renewed constantly by nature are known as renewable resources. They are also known as natural resources because these resources do not harm the environment.

10 Examples of Renewable Resources

Some common examples of renewable resources are:

  1. Wind Energy
  2. Solar Energy
  3. Biomass Energy
  4. Geothermal Energy
  5. Tidal Energy
  6. Hydro Power
  7. Wave Energy
  8. Biofuels
  9. Soil
  10. Air

Characteristics of Renewable Resources

Just knowing the definition and examples are not enough, there is much more to renewable resources. Some important features of renewable resources are:

  • Nature renews or replaces these resources.
  • The reformation of renewable resources happens within a human’s lifetime.  
  • These resources are easily available in the earth’s atmosphere.
  • They never exhaust permanently.
  • These resources are usually free, or we pay a very small amount to use them.
  • Renewable resources do not harm the environment.
  • These resources do not release any kind of pollutants in the environment.
  • Using renewable resources helps create a balance between nature and living beings.
  • Renewable resources do not cause any kind of health problems.
  • If these resources are used in excess, the environment fails to replenish them. They transform from renewable to non renewable resources.

Non Renewable Resources

The resources of Economic Value used regularly by humans but not replenished or renewed by nature are called non renewable resources. The formation of these resources takes thousands or millions of years. These resources are also called stock resources because they are available in limited quantities.

10 Examples of Non Renewable Resources

There are many types of non renewable resources, most of which we do not know. Here are some common non renewable resource examples:

  1. Mineral Ores
  2. Metal Ores
  3. Coal
  4. Crude Oil
  5. Gold
  6. Aluminum
  7. Peat
  8. Sand
  9. Iron
  10. Phosphate Rock

Characteristics of Non Renewable Resources

After looking at the non renewable resources definition, let’s look further at different features of non renewable resources listed below, 

  • Nature takes thousands of years to renew or replenish these resources.
  • They are usually found in the lithosphere which comprises the upper mantle and crust of the earth.
  • The excessive use of these resources disturbs the whole ecosystem.
  • When these resources are used they release carbon dioxide, smoke, and other disease causing elements into the air.
  • Use of non renewable resources is responsible for The Greenhouse Effect which is also the biggest cause of Global warming.
  • The elements released by non renewable resources pollute the air, water, and soil. For example, the air gets polluted when fossil fuels are burned.
  • Extensive use of non renewable resources leads to climatic changes.
  • Some of these resources are scarce and costly.
  • These resources might be in the form of solid, liquid or gas. For example, coal, crude oil, and natural gas.
  • Most non renewable resources become waste after usage. They remain in this form until recycled.

Important Facts about Renewable and Non Renewable Resources

  • All fossil fuels are non renewable resources but all non renewable resources are not fossil fuels. For example, coal, natural gas, and crude oil are fossil fuels but uranium is not considered fossil fuel.
  • The nuclear power plants in the United States use 19.3% nuclear energy to generate electricity. It is also the highest percentage in the world. This information is found in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS section of the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
  • Nuclear power is produced through nuclear fission. An isotope of Uranium (U-235) is one of the most common nuclear fuels during this process.
  • Renewable, as well as non renewable resources are great energy sources.
  • Renewable energy sources are harmless but non renewable energy sources are harmful. They adversely affect the environment, humans, plants and animals.

Pros and Cons

Renewable Resources Pros and Cons

Pros

  • These are continuous sources of energy.
  • They do not emit toxic gases and elements. This keeps the environment clean and healthy.
  • Renewable resources are easily available for free or at an affordable price.

Cons

  • These resources are vulnerable to weather and climatic conditions.
  • Renewable resources are not capable of producing more energy in a short span of time.
  • These resources are affected by geographic limitations.

Non Renewable Resources Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The cost to produce energy using non renewable resources is less in comparison to renewable resources.
  • Climatic conditions do not affect non renewable resources. This makes them more reliable.
  • Shipping, piping, and storing these resources is easy.

Cons

  • Big businesses and governments usually manipulate these resources.
  • They pollute the air and are responsible for bringing drastic changes to the climate. These resources also cause diseases of the respiration system.
  • The remains of some non renewable resources are not capable of being worn down by erosion.

Conclusions about Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources

We have access to both renewable and non renewable resources. And we also know which one is good for us and the environment. Its our decision of whether to use renewable resources or non renewable resources. Our judicious shift towards more renewable resources is enough to spread better health and happiness worldwide.

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