Rare earth elements
AirThe atmosphere of the Earth. Generally speaking, clean air that has a natural composition is more valuable to human quality of life than air that is contaminated with pollutants such as particulate matter.
WaterWater including fresh water, salt water, snow and ice. As with air, clean water is more valuable than polluted water. In many cases, fresh water is more valuable to humans than salt water as it can be consumed and used to grow crops.
LandLand including soil that can be used to grow food.
Geographical FeaturesNaturally created features of the planet such as oceans, lakes, rivers, mountains, rock formations and beaches. In some cases, a geographical feature is valued for its beauty or for recreation such as a beach that is good for surfing.
Living OrganismsLiving plants, animals, fungus and micro-organisms. People need organisms for food, medicine and other purposes such as gastrointestinal microbiota that are necessary for human life. People may also feel a connection with living organisms that improves quality of life such as the happiness gained from walking in a forest or caring for a pet.
EcosystemsLiving organisms do not survive independently but depend on each other in countless and complex ways. These systems of survival are known as ecosystems.
SunlightThe sunlight that warms the planet to a suitable temperature for life. Sunlight is important to the health of ecosystems and is an extremely abundant form of energy.
WeatherWeather such as wind and rain have value to people. For example, wind is a source of energy and rain waters plants.
TreesTrees are important to ecosystems and are an abundant source of renewable materials such as wood, paper and cloth.
MineralsMinerals such as sulfur, salt, quartz, graphite, granite and potash that are mined and used as materials for the production of goods.
RocksRocks such as limestone and related resources such as gravel and sand.
GemstonesPrecious gemstones such as diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire and semiprecious gemstones such as aquamarine, garnet, jade, opal and turquoise.
MetalsMetals such as gold, platinum, palladium, silver, copper, aluminum, nickel and iron.
Fossil FuelFuels deposited with a natural process involving the decomposition of organisms. This is a non-renewable resource as such deposits are ancient and do not replenish. The burning of fossil fuels commonly produces pollution such as carbon dioxide.
Rare EarthsA collection of 17 elements that aren't necessarily rare in the Earth's crust but are difficult to mine because they seldom occur in concentrated deposits. The 17 rare earth elements are cerium, dysprosium, erbium, europium, gadolinium, holmium, lanthanum, lutetium, neodymium, praseodymium, promethium, samarium, scandium, terbium, thulium, terbium and yttrium.
SummaryThe following are common types of natural resources:
OverviewNatural resources is the value that naturally exists without being created by human society.
|Definition: Natural Resources|
Value that exists naturally without being created by people.