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Human Dependency on Resources with Examples

Aug 20, 2022
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Key Concepts:

  • Earth
  • Natural resources
  • Renewable resources
  • Non-renewable resources

Introduction:  

Humans depend on natural resources because humans use natural resources as sources of energy and raw materials to make products. Food is a natural resource that can be consumed in its natural state or processed form. There are two types of natural resources – renewable and non-renewable. We should use natural resources carefully so the supply will last for a longer time. 

Food, clothing, and shelter are the three basic needs of a human being. These basic needs are essential for survival. Food and water provide nutrients to the body. We know that food is obtained from plants and animals. Fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts are plant products, whereas milk and eggs are animal products. Plants and animals require soil, water, air, and other natural resources. Clothing and shelter make use of renewable natural resources, but some products are from non-renewable resources.  

Basic needs of human beings 

Clothes are made from plants and animal products. Cotton is obtained from cotton plants. Wool and leather are obtained from animals. Some clothing material made from rayon and nylon is made from non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels and mineral.  

We need shelter to stay safe in any extreme weather conditions and from unwanted situations. Shelter involves the use of renewable resources such as wood, water and minerals present in bricks, concrete, and other construction material. Non-renewable resources used in the construction of houses are roofing material, plumbing work material, electrical fixtures, etc. 

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We all depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for many different resources. 

Energy Resources 

Most people rely on natural resources such as oil or natural gas which are petroleum fuels. Petroleum is an Earth material. It forms inside the Earth and is burned to produce heat, electricity or made into gasoline. There are other fuels such as coal, uranium, and alternative energy (wind, tidal, solar), which are used as energy resources. 

Energy resources 

Non-metallic resources:  

Rock is another natural resource that is very important to us. To build our schools, homes, resorts, and skyscrapers, we depend on sandstone, granite and other types of bedrock formed within and on the Earth. We use cement, bricks, sand, gravel, gypsum, etc., for construction work. These resources we get from Earth. Soil is another important natural resource that is essential to support all plant life on Earth. 

Non-metallic resources 

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Metallic resources: 

Iron, copper, aluminium, lead, zinc, gold, silver, and many more are metallic resources that are considered valuable resources and are essential for our modern society. 

Metallic resources 

Common uses of Earth’s Resources: 

There are many common uses of natural resources everywhere in our surroundings. It is highly impossible to stop using natural or geologic resources. Some common examples of Earth’s resources we use frequently are given below. 

  • We use pencil and eraser daily in the school. A pencil is made of Zinc. Zinc and copper are used to make the brass petroleum is needed for the eraser; iron is used in the machinery to make the pencil; pigments, clay and graphite are also used in making a pencil. The only renewable resource in pencil is wood. 
  • All most all jeans are made of cotton, but they are usually blended with petroleum-based synthetic fibers to reduce shrinking. The zipper on jeans clothing is made from copper and zinc. The dye used in all fabrics is made from petroleum. 
  • Quartz, sand, and petroleum are used in the making of eyeglasses and windows. 
  • Mercury and silver are used in dental fillings. 
  • Vinyl, iron, and chromium are used in the making of videotapes. 

Renewable and Non-renewable Resources 

Renewable resources such as trees, water, sun, and wind are natural resources that can be restocked almost at the same rate at which they are used. Renewable resources can be exhausted if not conserved properly.  

Some common examples of renewable resources include: 

  • Air (wind)  
  • Fresh water  
  • Soil  
  • Living organisms (trees)  
  • Sunlight 

Non-renewable resources are those natural resources that are exhausted very quickly than they can regenerate. Fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas take millions of years to form. Non-renewable resources are gone forever once they are extracted and used completely.  

Some common examples of non-renewable resources include: 

  • Fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas)  
  • Diamonds and other precious gems and minerals  
  • Types of metals and ores 
Renewable and non-renewable resources 

 

We know that the Earth is rich in natural resources that we use every day. These natural 

resources are any useful material of geologic origin that can be extracted from the Earth. 

Sometimes, renewable resources can be depleted if we use them too fast. For example: 

Earth 

  • If a lot of deforestation is done on land, the soil erodes quickly. This will cause the depletion of fertile topsoil that is required to support plant growth. Due to deforestation and erosion, trees and shrubs cannot grow back.  
  • If trees and vegetation are removed without being replanted, then this shows effects on the land, air, and water. Some common effects of this deforestation include runoff and changes in water quality.  
  • Fresh water is a renewable resource, but in some areas, overpopulation and increased demand on the water supply, lack of good practices of conservation of water, and water pollution can cause water scarcity. This big problem is mainly seen in cities situated in dry areas. A decrease in the availability of water can affect agriculture, farmland, livestock, and other living organisms (including humans) in the area. 

Summary:

  •  Humans depend on natural resources because humans use natural resources as sources of energy.
  • There are two types of resources – renewable and non-renewable.
  •  We all depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for many different resources.
  •  Renewable resources are natural resources that can be restocked almost at the same rate at which they are used.
  •  Nonrenewable resources are those natural resources that are exhausted very quickly than they can regenerate.
  • Renewable resources can be depleted if we use them too fast.
  •  We must conserve natural resources.

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