TOP 11 Natural Resource Examples (Renewable & Nonrenewable)

TOP 11 Natural Resources (Renewable & Nonrenewable)

People, animals, and other living organisms have been reliant on natural resources for their survival since the beginning of recorded history. Conservation of natural resources is critical as the world population continues to grow, and many of the world’s most important natural resources are finite and non-renewable, making it imperative to conserve them.

A natural resource is any material or substance that naturally occurs in the environment and can be exploited for economic gain. Minerals, forests, fertile land, and water are among the resources available. Some natural resources, such as soil and water, are absolutely necessary for the survival of all life on the planet.

In the definition of non-renewable natural resources, a resource is one that will not be replenished during our lifetime. Metal ores, fossil fuels, earth minerals, and, in some cases, groundwater are among the resources that are exploited.

Renewable natural resources are resources that can be replenished naturally in our lifetime and that can be used over and over without depletion. Freshwater, timber, oxygen, and solar energy are all examples of natural resources.

What Are Some Examples of Natural Resources?

Natural resources are a non-renewable and extremely valuable component of today’s world’s economy. Anything that we use to meet our needs is considered a natural resource, and this includes mineral and oil deposits as well as freshwater, natural gas, and metal deposits. In fact, natural resources can include anything that is consumed for survival, such as animals (fish, insects, cows, chickens, and so on) and plants (such as trees).

It is critical to be aware of the limitations of renewable resources in terms of production and material consumption — which are frequently caused by environmental factors — so that they can continue to meet the needs of those who require their products.

Here’s our list of the top 11 examples of natural resources:

11. Copper

For thousands of years, copper has been in use, and it is considered to be one of the first metals ever used by man. It is one of the few metallic elements that can be found in its natural state and is one of the most abundant.

Copper is primarily used in electrical wires, industrial machinery, roofing and plumbing materials, and other applications. Copper is also used in a variety of products, including nutritional supplements and agricultural fungicides.

Copper is mined from copper ores and recovered through recycling in the United States, making it the world’s second largest producer after China. Copper can be recycled without causing any degradation in its quality. Therefore, nearly the same amount of copper is recovered through recycling as is extracted from newly mined ore.

10. Helium

The first thing that comes to mind for most people when they hear the word helium is balloons; however, balloons account for only a small portion of the total amount of helium used in modern society. In accordance with the Royal Society of Chemistry, helium is required for a variety of applications, including the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), superconducting magnets in MRI scanners and NMR spectrometers, and space-based instrumentation.

Because helium is non-reactive, it is used in the production of fiber optics and semiconductors to create a protective inert atmosphere. helium is also used in the production of medical devices. Because it is non-toxic and diffuses quickly, helium is also used to detect leaks in air-conditioning systems and to inflate airbags in vehicles, among other applications.

It is recognized as a nonrenewable resource despite the fact that helium is the second most abundant element in the solar system, after oxygen. helium is produced primarily by the occurrence of unlikely coincidences within the Earth’s crust, making it a rare and valuable commodity. Extracting helium from the atmosphere is uneconomical due to the fact that there is less than 0.00052 percent helium in the atmosphere.

9. Bauxite

Bauxite is formed as rocks in soils that contain very little soluble materials and are found in tropical climates with high rainfall. One of the reasons Australia is the world’s leading producer of bauxite is due to this.

Bauxite is the primary ingredient in the production of aluminum metal, and it has been used to extract nearly all of the aluminum that has been produced. It is also used in hydraulic fracturing, which is a drilling technique for extracting oil and gas.

8. Iron

Iron can be found in a variety of everyday items and is the most widely used metal on the planet. Iron is a good conductor, is long-lasting, and is abundant, accounting for 5 percent of the Earth’s crust. In order to achieve this, it is used in the production of steel, electrical wiring and conductor, pipes and tools as well as stoves, pots and pans, sofa frames, and other household items.

In Australia, Brazil, and South Africa, banded iron formations (BIFs) are the primary source of iron ore. The rest of the world gets its iron from other sources.

7. Coal

People have been using coal as a source of heat for thousands of years. As a result of its abundance, high energy output, and low cost, coal has displaced natural gas as the primary source of fuel for electricity generation in modern society.

In the fossil fuel industry, coal is a fossil fuel that is produced through a process known as coalification. When plants died in swamp forests millions of years ago, they left layers of peat behind. These layers were buried by geological processes and then altered by heat and pressure in low-oxygen environments.

There are numerous issues that arise as a result of the mining and use of coal. It is estimated that one of the most serious environmental issues is the adverse effect on surface and ground water caused by the disposal of ash and sludge that results from coal combustion and the cleaning of flue gases. This is according to the United States Geological Survey, one of the most serious environmental issues.

6. Natural Gas

Providing approximately 22 percent of the nation’s energy requirements, natural gas is used as a fuel for heating, cooking, and electricity generation, among other applications. It is also used in the production of plastics and other organic compounds that are commercially important.

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is produced by the decomposition of organic material in an anaerobic environment, typically originating from ancient marine organisms. Generally speaking, natural gas deposits can be divided into two categories: conventional and unconventional. Conventional deposits are associated with oil reserves, whereas unconventional deposits include coal bed methane, shale gas, and tight-gas sandstone. Coal bed methane is associated with oil reserves, whereas shale gas is associated with natural gas reserves.

5. Oil

Oil, like natural gas, is produced by the decomposition of organic matter in an anaerobic environment over a period of millions of years, similar to how natural gas is produced. Oil accounts for 40% of the nation’s energy requirements and is used in the production of gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, propane, and asphalt, among other things. Petrochemicals, such as plastics, synthetic rubber, and chemicals, are made from oil, which is used in the production of these products as well.

Plate tectonics plays a role in determining the location of oil and gas reserves. As a result, the majority of oil is found in deserts, arctic regions, river deltas, and continental margins offshore, rather than on land. Plate tectonics is responsible for the formation of anoxic burial sites, as well as the high pressure and heat required for organic matter to transform into oil and gas.

4. Salt

Sodium chloride, also referred to as table salt, is a mineral that is essential for the survival of both humans and animals.

Salt is mined using one of four methods: rock salt mining underground, solution mining, which involves injecting a solvent into the ground that dissolves underground salt and then recovering the salt through solar evaporation, sea water evaporation, which involves collecting sea water in solar evaporation ponds, and inland solar evaporation, which is similar to sea water evaporation but takes place in a controlled environment.

More than 40% of the salt mined is used in the chemical industry, with another 40% being used as deicer on roads during the winter months in the United States. The remaining 20% is distributed among the industries of table salt processing, rubber manufacturing, and other goods manufacturing, among other things.

3. Timber

Timber is a valuable renewable natural resource in many societies around the world, especially in developing countries. When production is approached in a responsible manner, it has the potential to be both sustainable and cost-effective.

Timbers are mostly used to make lumber, which is then used in the construction industry. It is possible to shape them in a rough manner and use them as heavy-duty beams and columns.

Timber is also used in the manufacture of paper products, fiber board, hard board, plywood, and particle board, among other things.

2. Soil

Soil is one of the most important natural resources on the planet, as it is required both directly and indirectly for food production, the manufacture of industrial raw materials, and the generation of energy sources. Soil is essential for food production, the manufacture of industrial raw materials, and the generation of energy sources. Nutrients, oxygen, water, and heat are all provided by the soil, which is essential for the proper functioning of ecosystems.

Poor agricultural practices and chemical contamination are contributing to the degradation of soil resources. The protection of this irreplaceable natural resource from pollution and physical destruction is one of the most significant challenges that current and future generations must face.

1. Water

Water, like soil, is one of the most important natural resources for the continued existence of life on the planet. The availability of fresh water is considered to be a renewable resource, but the majority of the water that humans consume comes from groundwater sources that are depleting at a faster rate than they can be replaced.

Despite the fact that water is considered a renewable resource, human activities are putting a serious strain on the availability of water. Pollution, urbanization, deforestation, and climate change are just a few of the issues involved.


Natural resources are critical to the continuation of civilization as we know it, as they serve as the foundation for economic growth and survival.

Resources such as bauxite, iron, and copper are used to manufacture everyday items, whereas water, soil, and salt are required for survival on the planet.

Natural resources must be protected and conserved because it is humanity’s responsibility. Things you can do in your everyday life to conserve natural resources include reusing plastic, paper, and metal, as well as conserving electricity by using it more efficiently.

Is there anything you can think of to help conserve and protect natural resources? Please inform us of this by leaving a comment on this page.


Featured Image Credit: Nicolas Raymond @ Flickr