Earth has renewable and nonrenewable resources.  Our demand for and use of resources sometimes exceeds the supply that is available.

Renewable resource: one that can be replaced in nature at the same rate in which we use it

Nonrenewable resource: one that exists in a fixed amount, or is used up faster than it can be replaced in nature *Once these are used, most are immediately destroyed!

*Each U.S. citizen consumes about 40,000 pounds of new minerals each year!

What for??  Building materials for homes, cars, roads, appliances, computers; fertilizers on food we eat; electricity; etc…

*Most minerals come from the rocks in the ground.

Ore: a rock that contains enough of a desirable element to make separation profitable

Ex.- iron ore, copper ore

Ore mineral: the valuable mineral that can be separated from the rock

Ex.- iron, copper

Mineral reserve: the known deposits of mineral in ores that are worth mining

– The place where a mineral is found

*All minerals are nonrenewable, so, how long until we run out??

-Depends on two things:

1. the size of the reserve (How much there is!)

2. the rate at which we are using it up! (How fast we are using it!)

Resource                     Est. Life Exp. in Yrs.              Uses          .

Coal                                         200-300                       (electricity)

Copper                                   36                                (electric wiring)

Iron                                         62                                (steel prod.)

Lead                                        25                                (batteries)

Natural Gas                        125                              (fuel; heat)

Oil                                           50                                (gasoline)

Silver                                     17                                (electric wiring)

Tin                                           31                                (cans; industry)

Uranium                               ???                               (electricity)

*How do we recover these resources?

-mining (tunnels or open-pit mines) into the Earth

-Very harmful to the environment!!  Destroys land, ecosystems; pollutes water sources, soil. . .

*Because these mineral resources are nonrenewable, we must plan for a day when they will disappear.

What can we do?

1. find alternative resources

2. develop efficient and reliable renewable resources

3. reduce our use and avoid waste

4. reuse what we can

5. recycle (collect and reuse materials from waste) what we can

-Examples:  hybrid/electric cars, carpool, walk/ride a bike, turn off unneeded lights/electrical appliances, don’t let H20 run, place recyclables in marked containers


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