Examples of natural resources include air, water, soil, plants, animals, raw materials, space, land, wind and energy. Natural resources come from the environment and are not man-made. Some are essential for survival, while others are social wants.
Natural resources can be classified as renewable resources, nonrenewable resources and flow resources. Renewable resources are living and can renew themselves. Trees, crops and fish are examples of renewable resources. Water and soil are also renewable resources, but they are classified as nonliving things. Flow resources do not need regeneration or regrowth. Examples of flow resources include solar power and wind. Nonrenewable resources cannot be replaced once they are used up. Fossil fuels, coal and petroleum are examples of nonrenewable resources.
Natural resources can also be classified in terms of origin. Biotic resources come from living and organic material. These include fossil fuels, forests and animals. Abiotic resources come from nonliving and inorganic materials, such as land, fresh water, air and heavy metals. Natural resources can also be classified by their state of development. Potential resources exist in a region that may be used in the future. Actual resources are currently being used. Reserve resources are a part of actual resources that can be developed profitably in the future. Stock resources cannot be used due to a lack of technology.