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Resources supplied by nature are called natural resources. The sun, air, water, soil, trees and forests, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas and minerals are all natural resources.
Many industries, like fishing, mining, hunting, agriculture and forestry, revolve around the sensible use of natural resources.
Natural resources are classified as renewable and non-renewable resources.
Renewable resources are those that are present in unlimited quantity in nature or those that will replace themselves over time.
These resources are not likely to be exhausted by human activities.
As they are unlimited, they are also called inexhaustible resources.
Non-renewable resources are those that are limited in nature and will not replace themselves.
They can be exhausted by human activities.
As they are limited, they are also called exhaustible resources.
Coal, petroleum and natural gas are exhaustible fossil fuels, which cannot be prepared in the laboratory. It takes millions of years for dead organisms to get converted into these fuels.
Studies show that the known reserves of these fuels are fast depleting.
Burning of these fuels is also a major cause for air pollution and, along with cutting down of trees, is contributing to global warming.
The Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) of India has some tips for people on how to save petrol/ diesel while driving:
- Drive vehicles at a constant and moderate speed.
- While waiting or at a traffic junction, switch off the engine.
- Ensure correct tyre pressure.
- Ensure regular maintenance checks of the vehicle.
Tips for conserving energy at home and school:
- Switch off lights and electrical appliances when not in use.
- Turn off air conditioning when leaving the room.
- Do not let the tap run while you brush your teeth or soap your hands.
- Check all leaky taps.
- Take shorter showers.
- Buy rechargeable batteries and a charger for them.
- Avoid plastic bags.
- Recycle your newspapers.