environmental resources

Environmental resources can be classified as renewable, non-renewable and continuous.

  • Renewable environmental resources are those which are, or can be, renewed within a relatively short time, for example, water through the water cycle; and plants, animals and marine life through reproduction. However, overuse of a renewable resource can lead to its disappearance, as with the overexploitation of a fishery or the over-extraction of groundwater.
  • Non-renewable environmental resources are those that cannot be renewed, for example, minerals. Soils that have been degraded can only be renewed over long timescales.
  • Continuous environmental resources are those, such as solar or wind energy, whose availability is unaffected by their use by humans.