A natural resource is anything that people can use
, which comes from nature.
People don’t make natural resources, they gather them
from the earth.
For example- air, water, wood ,iron, coal , hydro-
electric energy etc.
However it must be noted that refined oil is not a
natural resource as humans can make it.
There are primarily two types of natural resources. These are:
1. Renewable resources : It is a natural resources which can
be replenished with the passage of time, either through
biological reproduction or other naturally recurring
For example- Air, Water , Sunlight etc.
2. Non renewable resources- it is a resource that does
not renew itself at a sufficient rate for extraction
, i.e, their supply is limited and are replenished over
millions of years.
For example- fossil fuels (like coal, natural gas and
A forest, popularly referred to as a
wood or the woods, is an area with a
high density of trees.
It usually is an area filled with trees
but any tall densely packed area of
vegetation may be considered a
forest, even underwater vegetation
such as kelp forests or non
vegetation fungi and bacteria.
Tree forests cover approximately
9.4% of the earth’s surface ( 30% of
the total land area), though they
once covered 50% of the total land
They function as habitats for
organisms and soil
conservers, constituting one of the
most important aspects of the
Forest resources may be used for the following :
Fuel wood: They may be used as source of fuel wood by the local
population , and hence is an important source for meeting their energy
Soil erosion check :Tree roots bind the soil and prevent erosion caused by
wind or water. Leaf fall also provides a soil cover that further protects
Soil improvement :Some species of trees have the ability to return
nitrogen to the soil through root decomposition or fallen leaves. Such
trees are planted to increase the nitrogen content of the soil.
Fodder :Fodder from the forest forms an important source for cattle and
other grazing animals in the hilly and the arid regions and during a
drought. There are many varieties of grasses, trees, and shrubs that are
nutritious for the livestock. Care is taken to see that trees poisonous to
cattle are not grown. Trees that produce a large crown above the reach of
cattle are preferred.
Timber: More than 1500 species of trees are commercially exploited for
timber in different parts of India. It is used in timber-based industries
such as plywood, saw milling, paper and pulp, and particle boards.
Bamboo: These are common in the north-eastern and the south-western
parts of India, growing along with deciduous or evergreen forest. The
main commercial uses of bamboo are as timber substitutes, fodder, and
raw material for basket, paper and pulp, and other small-scale
Cane : Cane or rattan are the stems of a climber plant and are used for a
large number of household items. It is used to make walking sticks, polo
sticks, baskets, picture frames, screens, and mats.
Medicinal use: Since time immemorial humans have been depending on
the forest to cure them of various ailments. Even today man is
dependent on the forest for herbs and plants to fight against disease. Of
all the medicinal trees found in India, the Neem is the most important.
Leaves, bark, and other parts of many other trees also have medicinal
value and are used to make various Ayurvedic medicines.
It is a known fact that 97% of the
earth’s water is salt water and the rest
3% is fresh water. However it must be
known that this 3% of fresh water is
frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps.
The remaining unfrozen freshwater is
found mainly as ground water , with
only a small fraction present above
ground or in the air.
Even though fresh water is a
renewable resource , however yet the
world’s supple of ground water is
steadily decreasing and hence the need
has arisen to create a framework for
allocating water resources to water
users , which is known a water rights.
Residential , commercial and industrial use:
Residential use includes drinking, cleaning, personal hygiene etc. in
commercial and industrial sector water is most commonly used for
processing products and cooling.
Hydro power: Hydroelectric facilities use the power of flowing water to
turn turbines that produce electricity.
Irrigation : Water for irrigation comes from either groundwater or surface
water, raising concerns that heavy use could deplete water supplies in a
region to the extent that nonagricultural users are negatively affected.
Irrigation has also been linked to increased soil salinity and contamination
of groundwater with fertilizers and chemicals through runoff.
Navigation : Navigable waterways are defined as watercourses that have
been or may be used for transport of interstate or foreign commerce.
The term Mineral Resource is used to refer to any of a
class of naturally occurring solid inorganic substances
with a characteristic crystalline form and a
homogeneous chemical composition. It can also be
simply defined as natural resources in the form of
These are the natural resources which cannot be
renewed. They are present in the organisms as an
organic and inorganic molecule and ions.
Minerals are most commonly used in the gem industry.
Such minerals are usually hard.
Minerals are also used to extract useful products. An
ore is a rock containing a concentrated percentage of
minerals, which are extracted and the useful element
Minerals, especially feldspar , are used in making
porcelain and pottery.
Optical and scientific apparatus use minerals like
fluorite, mica and gypsum for their optical properties.
What is pollution?
Pollution is basically the introduction of contaminants
into the natural environment, which results in an
adverse effect on the planet.
Pollution may take the form of chemical substances or
energy such as noise , heat or light. Pollutants, which
are the components of pollution, can either be foreign
substances/energies or can also be naturally occurring
Following are they various types of pollution which are
known to plagiarize mankind:
1. Air pollution
2. Water pollution
3. Noise pollution
4. Radiation pollution
It is defined as the introduction of chemicals, particulates
,biological material or other harmful substances into the
Common pollutants include:
1. Sulphur oxides( the most common being sulfur dioxide)
2. Nitrogen oxides.
3. Carbon monoxide
4. Volatile organic compounds (they are catagorized into
methane and non – methane.)
Sources of air pollution are as follows:
1. Man made sources:
Stationary sources: includes the
smoke stacks of power plants, the
furnaces and other types of fuel –
burning heating devices.
Mobile sources include motor
vehicles, marine vessels and
Fumes from paint , hair spray,
varnish and aerosol sprays.
Military sources such as nuclear
weapons, toxic gases, germ warfare
2. Natural sources:
Dust from natural sources , usually large areas of land with little
or no vegetation.
Methane emitted by the digestion of food by animals , for
Radon gas from the radioactive decay buried within the Earth’s
Smoke and carbon monoxide from wildfires
Volcanic activity which results in the release of large amounts of
ash, smoke , sulfur etc.
The consequences of air pollution are as follows:
Acidification: Chemical reactions involving air pollutants can
create acidic compounds which can cause harm to vegetation
Air pollutants can be in the form of particulate matter which can
be very harmful to our health.
Short-term effects include irritation to the eyes, nose and
throat, and upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and
pneumonia. Others include headaches, nausea, and allergic
Long-term health effects can include chronic respiratory
disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the
brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys.
It is the contamination of water
bodies (e. g- lakes, rivers , oceans
It occurs when pollutants are
directly or indirectly discharged
into water bodies without
adequate treatment to harmful
It affects plants and organisms
living in water bodies.
Sewage from domestic households, factories and
commercial buildings: Sewage that is treated in water treatment
plants is often disposed into the sea. Sewage can be more problematic
when people flush chemicals and pharmaceutical substances down the
Dumping solid wastes and Litter: in rivers, lakes and
oceans. Littering items include
cardboard, Styrofoam, aluminum, plastic and glass.
Industrial waste :from factories, which use freshwater to carry waste
from the plant into rivers, contaminates waters with pollutants such as
asbestos, lead, mercury and petrochemicals.
Oil Pollution caused by oil spills from tankers and oil from ship
travel. Oil does not dissolve in water and forms a thick sludge.
Burning fossil fuels into the air causes the formation of acidic
particles in the atmosphere. When these particles mix with water
vapor, the result is acid rain.
Groundwater contamination from pesticides causes reproductive damage
within wildlife in ecosystems.
Swimming in and drinking contaminated water causes skin rashes and
health problems like cancer, typhoid fever and stomach sickness in humans.
Industrial chemicals and agricultural pesticides that end up in aquatic
environments can accumulate in fish that are later eaten by humans. Fish
are easily poisoned with metals that are also later consumed by humans.
Ecosystems are destroyed by the rising temperature in the water, as coral
reefs are affected by the bleaching effect due to warmer
temperatures. Additionally, the warm water forces indigenous water species
to seek cooler water in other areas, causing an ecological damaging shift of
the affected area.
Human-produced litter of items such as plastic bags and 6-pack rings can get
aquatic animals caught and killed from suffocation.
Water pollution causes flooding due to the accumulation of solid waste and
soil erosion in streams and rivers.
Oil spills in the water causes animal to die when they ingest it or encounter
it. Oil does not dissolve in water so it causes suffocation in fish and birds.
Noise pollution is the disturbance or excessive noise
that may harm the activity or balance of human or
Sources of noise pollution
Most of the outdoor noise is caused due to machines
and transportation systems, motor vehicles, aircrafts
Also poor urban planning may give rise to noise
pollution since side by side industrial and residential
building can result in excessive noise.
Indoor noise may be caused by machines, building
activities and music performances, especially in some
Ozone layer refers to a region in the
earth’s atmosphere that absorbs most
of the sun’s UV radiation . it contains
high concentration of ozone in
comparison to other layers of the
Ozone layer depletion basically
describes two major phenomena that
have been observed since the 1970s
:first being the steady decline of 4%
in the volume of ozone in the earth’s
stratosphere and the second being
the larger springtime decrease in
stratospheric ozone in the polar
regions. Above: Image of the
largest Antarctic ozone hole ever
recorded (September 2006), over the
The effects of ozone layer depletion are as follows:
The UV rays which would enter the earth’s atmosphere
would cause various types of skin cancer. Also it would
cause more cataracts and blindness.
Several of the world's major crop species are particularly
vulnerable to increased UV, resulting in reduced
growth, photosynthesis and flowering.
In particular, plankton (tiny organisms in the surface layer
of oceans) are threatened by increased UV radiation.
Plankton are the first vital step in aquatic food chains.
Decreases in plankton could disrupt the fresh and saltwater
food chains, and would eventually lead to a species shift
and ultimately result in the loss of ocean biodiversity.
Commute to nearby places by walking or cycling rather
When many people are travelling to the same
destination, one can always car pool.
Save energy by switching off the lights and all electronics
when leaving a room.
Use paper bags rather than plastic ones.
Industries can control the emission of particles by making
machinery more efficient or updating the same.
Industries can also treat their waste before releasing the
same into rivers and streams.