Resources on Earth


Natural resource consists of both resources that are renewable and non-renewable, that support and provide service to the ecosystem. These resources provide humans, animals and plants to sustain on the planet through the utilisation of its resources. Naturally occurring resources serve as the real wealth of the nation, as these are associated with the factors like improvement of fiscal revenue, reduction of the poverty level, and generation of income. Researchers say that if there would have been no natural resources, then animals and humans would suffocate and starve.

Overview of Earth’s Resources

It is understood that without the resources, survival on the planet would have been impossible. This has also proved why there is no sign of existence on other planets present within the solar system. Therefore, it is quite important for humans to utilize the resources as per the sustainability aspects. Over the years, it is noticed that due to the overutilization of resources on the earth and at present, the resources are depleting at a faster rate. Earth’s resources can be classified into many sections depending upon the factors that include, recovery rates, on the basis of origin, stages of development and many more.

What are Natural Resources?

Figure 1: Categories of Natural resources

Resources that occur naturally within nature are termed natural resources and most of these resources existed from the initiation of life on earth. On the basis of its recovery rate, natural resources are segregated into renewable and non-renewable resources. However, it is noticed that the non-renewable resources are exhausted at a faster rate due to the over usage of these resources. For example, fossil fuel is exhausting at a speedy rate and its formation is quite difficult as it takes over millions of years. Therefore, other ways are initiated that tend to support the usage of renewable resources as much as possible.

Based on the origin, natural resources can be divided into biotic and abiotic resources. Biotic resources constitute living together with organic matter, whereas, abiotic relate to non-living things such as air, water, land, metals, and elements.

Kinds of Resources Found on Earth

Resources can be classified based on many aspects; however, the most widely discussed is on the basis of recovery rates. This includes renewable and non-renewable resources. The resources that are naturally replenished are termed renewable resources, such as water, sunlight, and air. However, renewable resources are found in abundant quantity and thus are not much affected by consumption of the humans.

On the contrary, non-renewable resources are not naturally replenished and they take millions and millions of years in their process of formation. Minerals are found to be under this category. Recent records state that the rate of replenishment of non-renewable resources is occurring at a much lesser speed than the rate of consumption. For example, fossil fuels, petroleum and coal are fast depleting and therefore measures need to be taken for the conservation of these resources.

Significance of Natural Resources

  • Natural resources are crucial for the survival of living beings on earth. They support the socio-economic development of the entire nation. However, it needs an understanding that survival relates to many steps by step factors.

  • Resources support keeping up a balance within the ecosystem and provide essential needs of the growing population.

  • On a large scale, the raw materials are extensively used by industries for commercial purposes.

  • Water is used for hydroelectricity, and wind energy is also used for electricity production through the usage of windmills. Solar energy is also used for generating solar power.

Reasons for the Depletion of Resources

Figure 2: Reasons for Depletion of Resources

Several reasons are identified for the depletion of resources that includes, over populations, that is most prominent due to the initiation of industrialisation. Deforestation and over-exploitation are also responsible for the fast consumption of resources. This results in the loss of biodiversity together with pollution due to the contamination of resources. Erosion and industrialisation are also alarming factors.

Conservation Methods

Figure 3: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Varied ways have initiated that support in conserving the resources. However, reduce, reuse and recycle are the most widely accepted. Over the years, this has resulted in limiting the use of natural resources. This has also resulted in the protection of these resources.


In this tutorial, the focus has been given to understanding the resources found on earth. However, they are segregated on a varied basis, where non-renewable resources are seen to be massively depleting. In aligning with this, conservation methods are discussed as well.


Q1. How can natural resources be divided on the basis of their origin?

Ans. Natural resources are divided into, biotic and abiotic resources on the basis of their origin. Biotic are the resources that are collected from the stated biosphere that includes both living as well as organic material. On the other hand, abiotic resources are materials that are non-living and non-organic. For example, biotic resources involve animals, forests and abiotic resources include, land, air water many more.

Q2. Based on the developmental stages how can the resources be segregated?

Ans. Based on the developmental stages the resources be segregated into potential, stock, reserve and actual resources. Potential resources are defined to be the resources that can be utilised by future generations. On the other hand, the resources that are quantified and qualified for current usage is as known as actual resources.

Q3. What is the most common phrase that was initiated in the late 20th and beginning of the 21st century for conservation?

Ans. The phrase that was initiated in the late 20th and beginning of the 21st century for conservation is ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’ that intends to conserve the severe impact on the resources found on earth.

Updated on: 24-Apr-2023


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