Some of the main characteristics of renewable and nonrenewable resources are as follows:
Any part of our natural environment such as land, air, water, forest, minerals, wildlife etc. which is utilised by human beings for their welfare is termed as natural resources.
According to Owen (1971), the natural resources may be divided in to two categories, on the basis of quantity, mutability and use ability.
1. Renewable Resources or Inexhaustible Resources
2. Non Renewable Resources or Exhaustible Resources
1. Renewable resources:
The resources which can be renewed along with their exploitation and can be always available for use are known as renewable sources.
Some characteristics of renewable resources are as follows:
(i) These resources are capable of regeneration.
(ii) These are renewed along with exploitation and hence, always available for use.
(iii) The regeneration of these sources involves some ecological processes on a time scale.
(iv) The renewable sources become nonrenewable if used at a greater rate than the environment’s capacity to replenish them.
(v) These resources comprise materials like food, timber, raw materials for clothing’s, leather etc. These also include oxygen, fresh water solar energy and biomass.
2. Non renewable resources:
The natural resources which cannot be regenerated along with their exploitation are known as nonrenewable resources.
Some important characteristics of such type of resources are given below:
(i) These are available only in finite quantities and hence termed as “stock resources”
(ii) These cannot be regenerated easily.
(iii) These are concentrated as minerals usually in lithosphere of earth in a number of forms.
(iv) These may be solids (coal, lignite, minerals), liquids (petroleum) or gases (natural gases)
(v) These substances remain as waste in some other forms after their use unless there are subjected to recycling.