natural resources

recycle

If an item can no longer be used or reused, try to recycle it. Recycling means taking a used item, breaking it down, and reusing the components. It generally takes less energy to recycle materials than obtain new ones. Recycling also keeps waste out of landfills. Some of the items that can be recycled include: glass, paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, iron, steel, batteries, electronics, tires, and concrete. You can learn how some of these materials are recycled by watching this video: . MEDIA Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL: Even kitchen scraps and garden wastes can be recycled. They can be tossed into a compost bin, like the one in Figure 25.13. The recycled compost gradually breaks down to form rich humus that can be added to lawns and gardens to improve the soil. Encourage your family to recycle if they dont already. Even if you dont have curbside recycling where you live, there are likely to be recycling drop boxes or centers available for recycling many items. If you have recycling bins at school, be sure to use them. If not, raise the issue with your teacher or principal. You can also write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper encouraging everyone in your community to recycle.

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reuse

Reusing means to use an item again rather than throwing it away and replacing it. Items can be reused for the same purpose or for a different purpose. Generally, it takes less energy to reuse an item than to recycle it, so choose this option over recycling when you can. Here are some specific tips for reusing natural resources: Consider mending or repairing worn or broken items rather than throwing them out and replacing them. Shop with reuse in mind. You can find great buys at flea markets and resale shops. You may be able to get free items online at free-cycle sites. Youll save money as well as natural resources. You can also sell (or give away) your own reusable items. Reuse cloth shopping bags. Instead of getting new plastic or paper bags for your purchases each time you shop, take your own reusable bag to the store each time. Even little steps can add up and help save natural resources. For example, unwrap gifts carefully and youll be able to reuse the gift wrap on a package for someone else. You can also reuse writing paper that has only been used on one side. Its great for notes and shopping lists.

reduce

Reducing the amount of natural resources you use is the best way to conserve resources. It takes energy to make new items, and even reusing or recycling items takes energy. You can reduce the amount of natural resources you use by not using the resources in the first place. Often, this involves just being less wasteful. Follow these tips to reduce your use of natural resources: Walk, bike, or use public transit instead of driving. If you must drive, a fuel-efficient vehicle will reduce energy use. Plan ahead to avoid making extra trips. Dont buy more than you need. For example, dont buy more fresh food than you can use without it going to waste. You will not only reduce your use of food. You will also reduce your use of energy resources. It takes a lot of energy to grow, process, and ship many of the foods we buy. When you shop, keep packaging in mind. "Precycle" by buying items with the least amount of wasted packaging. Use energy-efficient appliances and LED light bulbs. Also, turn off appliances and lights when you arent using them. Both steps will reduce the amount of energy resources you use. Keep the thermostat set low in the winter and high in the summer (see Figure 25.12). Instead of turning up the heat in cold weather, put on an extra layer of clothes to save energy resources. Open windows and use fans in hot weather rather than turning on the air conditioning.

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conserving natural resources

Especially when it comes to nonrenewable resources, conserving natural resources is important. Using less of them means that they will last longer. It also means they will impact the environment less. Everyone can help make a difference. There are three basic ways that all of us can conserve natural resources. They are referred to as the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle.

alternative energy resources

Switching to renewable energy sources solves many of the problems associated with nonrenewable energy. While it may be expensive to develop renewable energy sources, they are clearly the way of the future. Figure 25.11 represents three different renewable energy sources: solar, wind, and biomass energy. The three types are described below. You can watch Bill Nyes introduction to renewable energy resources in this video: MEDIA Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL: Solar energy is energy provided by sunlight. Solar cells can turn sunlight into electricity. The energy in sunlight is virtually limitless and free and creates no pollution to use. Wind energy is energy provided by the blowing wind. Wind turbines, like those in Figure 25.11, can turn wind energy into electricity. The wind blows because of differences in heating of Earths atmosphere by the sun. There will never be a shortage of wind. Biomass energy is energy provided by burning or decomposing organic matter. For example, when garbage decomposes in a landfill, it releases methane gas. This gas can be captured and burned to produce electricity. Crops such as corn can also be converted into a liquid fuel and added to gasoline. Although biomass is renewable, burning it produces carbon dioxide, similar to fossil fuels.

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fossil fuels and nuclear energy

Fossil fuels and nuclear energy are nonrenewable energy resources. People worldwide depend far more on these energy sources than any others. Figure 25.10 shows the worldwide consumption of energy sources by type in 2010. Nonrenewable energy sources accounted for 83 percent of the total energy used. Fossil fuels and the uranium needed for nuclear power will soon be used up if we continue to consume them at these rates. Using fossil fuels and nuclear energy creates other problems as well. The burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is one of the major greenhouse gases causing global climate change. Nuclear power creates another set of problems, including the disposal of radioactive waste.

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energy resources

Some of the resources we depend on the most are energy resources. Whether its powering our lights and computers, heating our homes, or providing energy for cars and other vehicles, its hard to imagine what our lives would be like without a constant supply of energy.

renewable resources

Renewable resources are natural resources that are remade by natural processes as quickly as people use them. Examples of renewable resources include sunlight and wind. They are in no danger of being used up. Metals and some other minerals are considered renewable as well because they are not destroyed when they are used. Instead, they can be recycled and used over and over again. Living things are also renewable resources. They can reproduce to replace themselves. However, living things can be over-used or misused to the point of extinction. For example, over-fishing has caused some of the best fishing spots in the ocean to be nearly depleted, threatening entire fish species with extinction. To be truly renewable, living things must be used wisely. They must be used in a way that meets the needs of the present generation but also preserves them for future generations. Using resources in this way is called sustainable use.

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nonrenewable resources

Nonrenewable resources are natural resources that cant be remade or else take too long to remake to keep up with human use. Examples of nonrenewable resources are coal, oil, and natural gas, all of which are fossil fuels. Fossil fuels form from the remains of plants and animals over hundreds of millions of years. We are using them up far faster than they can be replaced. At current rates of use, oil and natural gas will be used up in just a few decades, and coal will be used up in a couple of centuries. Uranium is another nonrenewable resource. It is used to produce nuclear power. Uranium is a naturally occurring chemical element that cant be remade. It will run out sooner or later if nuclear energy continues to be used. Soil is a very important natural resource. Plants need soil to grow, and plants are the basis of terrestrial ecosystems. Theoretically, soil can be remade. However, it takes millions of years for soil to form, so from a human point of view, it is a nonrenewable resource. Soil can be misused and eroded (see Figure 25.9). It must be used wisely to preserve it for the future. This means taking steps to avoid soil erosion and contamination of soil by toxins such as oil spills.

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renewable and nonrenewable resources

From a human point of view, natural resources can be classified as either renewable or nonrenewable.

instructional diagrams

No diagram descriptions associated with this lesson

questions

All of the following are considered to be renewable resources except

a. sunlight.

b. plants.

c. iron.

-->  d. soil.

All natural resources are used for energy.

a. true

-->  b. false

Some minerals are renewable resources.

-->  a. true

b. false

Nonrenewable resources include

-->  a. uranium.

b. aluminum.

c. organisms.

d. two of the above

If natural gas continues to be used at current rates, it will be used up in a few

a. months.

b. years.

-->  c. decades.

d. centuries.

It takes millions of years for fossil fuels to form.

-->  a. true

b. false

At current rates of use, oil will be used up in just a few decades.

-->  a. true

b. false

How long does it usually take soil to form?

a. about a year

b. a few hundred years

c. a couple of thousand years

-->  d. millions of years

The use of nuclear power adds greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

a. true

-->  b. false

About what percent of energy used worldwide comes from nonrenewable resources?

a. 2025 percent

b. 4045 percent

c. 6065 percent

-->  d. 8085 percent

Decomposition of garbage releases methane gas that can be used for fuel.

-->  a. true

b. false

LED light bulbs use less energy than incandescent light bulbs.

-->  a. true

b. false

__energy provided by burning or decomposing organic matter

a. soil

b. natural resource

-->  c. biomass energy

d. renewable resource

e. sustainable use

f. fossil fuel

g. nonrenewable resource

__resource that cannot be remade at all or as quickly as people use it

a. soil

b. natural resource

c. biomass energy

d. renewable resource

e. sustainable use

f. fossil fuel

-->  g. nonrenewable resource

__use of resources in a way that meets current needs and also the needs of future generations

a. soil

b. natural resource

c. biomass energy

d. renewable resource

-->  e. sustainable use

f. fossil fuel

g. nonrenewable resource

__coal, oil, or natural gas

a. soil

b. natural resource

c. biomass energy

d. renewable resource

e. sustainable use

-->  f. fossil fuel

g. nonrenewable resource

The use of biomass energy does not contribute to air pollution.

a. true

-->  b. false

Fossil fuels form from organic remains that become buried under the ground.

-->  a. true

b. false

__anything supplied by nature that helps support life

a. soil

-->  b. natural resource

c. biomass energy

d. renewable resource

e. sustainable use

f. fossil fuel

g. nonrenewable resource

Recycling is the best way to conserve natural resources.

a. true

-->  b. false

__nonrenewable resource that plants need to grow

-->  a. soil

b. natural resource

c. biomass energy

d. renewable resource

e. sustainable use

f. fossil fuel

g. nonrenewable resource

__resource that is remade by natural processes as quickly as people use it

a. soil

b. natural resource

c. biomass energy

-->  d. renewable resource

e. sustainable use

f. fossil fuel

g. nonrenewable resource

Kitchen and garden wastes can be recycled by composting them.

-->  a. true

b. false

Methane gas produced by decomposing garbage is a fossil fuel.

a. true

-->  b. false

Which energy resource is used more than any other in the world?

a. wood

b. wind

c. sun

-->  d. oil

Renewable resources include

a. living things.

b. uranium.

c. coal.

-->  d. two of the above

Nonrenewable energy resources include

a. natural gas.

b. nuclear energy.

c. biomass energy.

-->  d. two of the above

Renewable energy resources include

a. sunlight.

b. wind.

c. living things.

-->  d. all of the above

The method of conserving resources that uses the least energy is

-->  a. reducing resource use.

b. reusing resources.

c. recycling resources.

d. refining resources.

Soil is a nonrenewable natural resource because it

a. can never be renewed.

-->  b. takes so long to form.

c. is not needed in nature.

d. does not produce energy.

Energy resources that do not create air pollution when they are used include

-->  a. solar energy.

b. biomass energy.

c. natural gas.

d. two of the above

diagram questions

No diagram questions associated with this lesson