Types of Natural Resources: Examples and Ways to Preserve Them

Definition of Natural Resources – Everyone knows that everything that comes from the Earth, the biosphere and the atmosphere is called natural resources. Natural resources themselves have a very important role to meet the needs of all human life. In addition, natural resources are also important as a place for humans to live.

Natural resources on earth have a very diverse type. Natural resources can be classified based on their nature, potential and types.

Natural Resources Based on Their Characteristics

First, the types of natural resources based on their nature, natural resources are divided into:

1. Renewable Natural Resources.

Renewable natural resources are a type of resource that depends on its management, in the sense that it depends on human utilization. Inventory can increase and can also decrease.

If it can be managed with good utilization, these natural resources can increase and recover to then regenerate. However, this type of natural resource can experience a decrease if its use uses excessive exploitation.

Examples of renewable natural resources are water, soil, air, plants and the sun.

a. Water

Water is the most important compound for human life on Earth. As a natural resource stored in the earth, water can be found easily from wells, rivers, lakes, to the sea. Furthermore, water is used by humans to meet their daily needs, from drinking, bathing, washing, irrigation of agricultural and plantation lands, power plants, and transportation suggestions.

b. Land

Soil is the part of the earth’s crust that contains natural minerals and organic matter. Soil is formed from weathering or erosion of parent rock (inorganic) mixed with organic matter. Soil has a very vital role for human life because it functions as a support
for plants. The soil body consists of air (20-30%), water (20-30%), mineral matter (45%) and organic matter (5%).

The benefits of soil resources for human life are:

  • Provide nutrients for plants.
  • Provide food for plant biota.
  • Become a living habitat and carry out activities.
  • Become a source of raw materials for handicrafts and household products.

c. Air

Apart from water and land, air is one of the most important compounds in the continuity of human life. Air has an important role because it is a mixture of various gases which are colorless, odorless and tasteless. The presence of air is only visible from objects moved by the air. Air has unlimited properties, where air always seeks and fills space.

The benefits of air as a natural resource are:

  • Supports flower pollination.
  • Become a source for breathing.
  • Become an airplane flight path.
  • Communication channel via antenna to satellite.
  • Power channel.

d. Plant

Plants are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that live and belong to the plant kingdom (kingdom plantae). Plants are organisms that have chlorophyll or green leaf substance which functions as a medium for the creation of food or commonly known as the process of photosynthesis. Please note that plant species to live and carry out photosynthesis require the help of sunlight.

Well, the benefits of plants for human life are as food ingredients, medicines, food flavoring ingredients, natural dyes, and so on.

e. Sun

Quoted from the California Institute of Technology, the sun or some people call it solar is a star consisting of hot gas with a large mass, rotating and shining. The sun is the same as the stars that are visible in the sky both day and night.

The sun has a role in life as the source of life for all creatures. As the center of the solar system, life on planet earth is strongly influenced by the sun. The sun is not a solid mass and has no easily identifiable boundaries. That’s because almost the entire layer of the sun consists of hydrogen and helium.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as an independent agency in charge of the space program argues that without the sun’s heat and light, planet Earth would become a ball of ice-coated rock that had no life. The sun’s existence is to warm the sea, move the atmosphere, produce weather patterns, and provide energy to green plants as a provider of food and oxygen for life on Earth.

2. Non-renewable Natural Resources (non-renewable or deposit resources)

These natural resources are natural resources that will physically run out and cannot be used again. Examples of non-renewable natural resources are coal, oil and natural gas.

Dr. Sarintan Efratani Damanik, M.Sc. argues in his work that non-renewable natural resources are limited natural resources. This is because the use of natural resources is faster than the process of its formation. If consumed continuously, it is certain that these resources will run out and become extinct.

See also  Footnotes are: Definition, Elements, Types, and How to Use them

Examples of non-renewable natural resources are:

a. Crude oil

Quoted from the book “Petroleum Makes the World Amazed” by Yulianus Haryata, petroleum is a concentrated liquid that comes from the top layer of the Earth’s crust. In the management process using the results of various geological studies. Where the study focuses on the location of petroleum sources or commonly called petroleum wells.

Petroleum provides enormous benefits for mankind throughout the world. Referring to the opinion of Puja Laksana, petroleum comes from living things that die and are then covered with layers of soil and rock. Living things that died millions of years are commonly known as fossils, which are fossils that produce petroleum or fossil fuels.

Petroleum itself consists of a mixture of hydrogen and carbon molecules formed from sediment or deposition of trapped animal and plant remains for millions of years. This process occurs due to pressure and temperature in the Earth’s crust, resulting in a reservoir of oil located far beneath the surface of the earth.

The process of forming a reservoir due to layers of hard rock called nest rock (cap rock). Crude oil is formed as a result of the process of hydrocarbons in the ground which began about three million years ago. The formation process itself occurs at a temperature of 65-195 degrees Celsius at a depth of 5,000-12,000 feet.

It is conceivable if the supply of petroleum in the world is depleted or exhausted. What will happen is that petroleum cannot be renewed anymore because the process of its formation waits for millions of years. Therefore, petroleum is classified as a non-renewable natural resource.

Furthermore, to be used by humans, crude oil will go through a separation and cracking process. This separation process has the principle that crude oil which is a mixture of all components will be separated. Each component of petroleum which is still a hydrocarbon is separated based on differences in boiling points.

The following are the benefits of petroleum that have been felt by humans:

  • Become fuel for cooking.
  • Become a source of fuel for transportation.
  • Basic materials for the manufacture or synthesis of compounds in paint products, cosmetics, plastics, rubber, detergents, and so on.
  • Being a lubricant or oil in various vehicle engines.
  • Wax making materials for batik production, paper coatings for food, and so on.
  • Ignition fuel in large industries, such as Steam Power Plants (PLTU).
  • The basic ingredient for asphalt used in the manufacture of highways, but it can also be used as an insulator.

b. Coal

Besides oil, coal is also a fossil fuel. Where it makes coal as one of the non-renewable natural resources. Coal is an organic sedimentary solid hydrocarbon fuel formed from the biochemical, chemical and physical decay of plants in oxygen-free conditions. The process of decaying plants takes place at a certain pressure and temperature over a very long period of time. That is what makes coal have the properties of a complex mixture because it contains organic chemicals from carbon, oxygen and hydrogen in one carbon chain.

The definition of coal has actually been stated in Law no. 3 of 2020 concerning Amendments to Law Number 4 of 2009 concerning Mineral and Coal Mining. Coal is a deposit of carbonaceous organic compounds that are formed naturally from the remains of plants. Quoted from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in a press release number 246.Pers/04/SJI/2021, Indonesia’s coal reserves in 2021 will reach 38.84 billion tons.

With an average coal production of 600 million tons per year. The supply of coal reserves in Indonesia is sufficient to be used for up to 65 years. In addition to coal reserves, Indonesia is recorded to still have large coal resources of 143.7 billion tons.

In the book “Coal and its Use” published by Gadjah Mada University Press, the use of coal in Indonesia is prioritized as fuel for power plants and cement factories. Starting from 1993, Indonesia took steps to provide socialization regarding the use of coal in society as a household material and small industries.

The benefits of coal include:

  • Become fuel for electricity generation.
  • The main and basic fuel for the production of steel, cement, alumina processing centers, paper mills, chemical industries, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Coal by-products include soap, aspirin, solvents, dyes, plastics and fibers.

c. Gold

Gold has a very long history in human history. Gold is a valuable object because it can be used as a medium of exchange or as an investment asset. Gold itself is actually a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Au (aurum) and atomic number 79. Chemically, gold is not only a good conductor of heat and electricity. Gold is also immune to rust and corrosion because it is not oxidized with oxygen.

This metal is malleable and malleable, making it easy to shape. Its hardness, which is only between 2.5-3 on the Mohs scale, allows gold to be used as jewelry in various forms. According to publications from the American Museum of Natural History, gold is formed as a result of deposits in fractured rock called lodes, or veins.

See also  Get to know the European continent, its astronomical position and history

Just like petroleum and coal, gold also comes from within the Earth’s crust. Most seam deposits form when heated liquid circulates through gold-bearing rock, taking the gold and concentrating it in new locations in the crust.

Over millions of years, bits of gold were washed away with the water. Heavy gold settles on the bottom of rivers, lakes and seas by forming placer deposits. In most of the Earth’s crust the concentration of gold is very low. On average, one ton of rock from the crust contains 0.005 grams of gold, when compared to iron, which is 58,000 grams of iron.

In everyday human life, gold provides benefits as a jewelery material and a commodity that has high economic value. The rare and limited nature of gold makes gold expensive. In addition, the high price of gold is due to high production costs. As a result, until now the price of gold always rises because the demand also increases.

Types of Natural Resources Based on Potential Use

After understanding the meaning and types of natural resources based on their types. Next, we will discuss natural resources based on their potential use. There are three types of natural resources based on their potential use, namely:

1. Material natural resources. This type of natural resource is only used in its physical form.
Examples of material natural resources: iron, wood, cotton fiber, and gold.
2. Natural energy resources. This type of natural resource is used by utilizing its useful value as energy.
Examples of energy natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, waterfalls, and sunlight.
3. Space natural resources. This type of natural resource is utilized for living space or residence.

Types of Natural Resources Based on Kinds

Next are the types of natural resources based on their types, the types of natural resources are divided into two:

1. Non-biological (abiotic) natural resources.

These natural resources are inanimate resources. Examples can be found in our daily lives, such as soil, rock, water and wind.

2. Biological natural resources (biotic).

These natural resources are natural resources in the form of living things. Examples of living natural resources are humans, animals and plants.

How to Preserve Natural Resources

Behind the enormous utilization and use, humans also receive demands and obligations to help preserve the natural resources on Earth. The real purpose of preserving natural resources is so that future generations of people can still experience the same benefits from natural resources as the Earth’s wealth in the future.

Nature conservation is a principle in managing natural resources. Sustainable development is a form of nature conservation that is being promoted. Sustainable development is development that is carried out while meeting present needs without compromising the ability of natural resources to meet the needs of future generations.

Following are the principles of sustainable development:

1. Equality

Equity distribution of natural resources is considered to be one of the ways to prevent disparities in society and enable every human being to have equal access to the results of natural resources. Equity is intended so that each region can obtain a balanced development.

2. Energy

Energy as the key to the rapid development of human civilization needs attention. This is because energy used on a large and massive scale can make energy from natural resources deplete and slowly run out. Energy saving is one of the keys to conserving natural resources. Slowly, humans must immediately let go of dependence on non-renewable energy.

Humans must immediately switch to using renewable energy sources that are produced from renewable natural resources. Energy savings can be adapted to all types of natural resources by not using them in vain or looking for other alternatives as substitutes. One of the sure steps to save energy that is currently being carried out is the use of sunlight as natural lighting and environmentally friendly electricity.

3. Economy

Economic principles that can support the preservation of natural resources are economic activities that can increase competitiveness capacity and development of basic infrastructure, such as housing, roads, to information infrastructure.

4. Participation

Without joint steps, the preservation of natural resources will not have a significant impact. Therefore, the principle of participation is the implementation of sustainable development that actively involves the community.

5. Ecology

Utilization of mixed land as much as possible is one strategy that can be done, in terms of ecology. As is now often done, namely the provision of Green Open Space (RTH), limiting excessive urban expansion, and so on.

Environmental problems can be caused by two factors, namely humans and nature. The human factor is the main cause of many environmental problems that occur.

Currently, environmental problems have been increasingly discussed, including efforts to find solutions or solutions to these problems.