What is the difference between renewable and non renewable resources?

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melony82's profile pic

melony82 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Resources can be divided into two categories: renewable and non-renewable.

Renewable resources can be easily replaced after they are used.  For example, sunlight, wind, beef, corn, and water.

Non-renewable resources are very difficult, if not impossible, to replace once they have been used.  Examples include gold, diamonds, coal, oil, natural gas, and copper.

Currently, there is a big push for the development of new and/or improved methods for harnessing the power of renewable resources to power automobiles and electrical grids around the country and world.  This is because the population is quickly realizing that petroleum based products, like gasoline, will eventually run out.  This has been largely affected by the sudden spike in fuel prices and the growing awareness of our role in global warming.

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hobyheather | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Non-renewable resources are used up quicker than they can be made by nature. Usually the cut off time is more than 100 years.

Renewable resources replenish naturally within 100 years, or close to how fast they are being used up.

User Comments

melissa1106's profile pic

melissa1106 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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renewable sources are sources on earth that can be replaced and used again.

Ex: wind power, water, planting, etc.

These sources are better for the environment and can last us in the long run but can sometimes be also pricey.

Nonrenewable sources are sources that cannot be put back into the earth once they are taken. Once they run out they are gone forever.

Ex: Oil, coal, fossil fuels

These sources although necessary are going to run out at some point and be no longer available.

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jess1999 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Renewable resources are resources that are able to be replenish after a short period of time. For example, water is a renewable resource because water being able to be replenished. Other renewable resources are wind and solar.

Nonrenewable resources are resources that are not able to be replenished quickly or at all. Example of nonrenewable resources are fossil fuels and nuclear fuels.

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azzyj | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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We will run out of non-renewable resources (e.g coal, oil, gas) but we will not run out of renewable resources (e.g wind, tides, biomass)

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lovepeacea | Student | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Renewable Resources can be renewed by Nature, While Non-Renewable Resources can NOT be replaced, For example, Air, Solar energy, Soil and water can be renewed while Gasoline, Oil or fuels cannot be replaced (Mostly By Nature)


                 Hope This Helped, Kiana (Lovepeacea)

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babyyukkii | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

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renewable and non-renewable is something that we can renew and replenished while non-renewable were something which we cannot replenished or renew.





beach -biomass


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mithi9litcrazy | Student | (Level 1) Honors

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renewable resources are those which can be renewed ie. replaced by nature.they exist in vast amounts in nature.


non renewable resources are the ones which cannot be replaced by the nature once they have been used.


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phantasm921 | Student | (Level 1) Honors

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Renewable resources:-

Renewable resources are those which are replaced by nature fast enough before their deplement. Renewable resources include human resources. Resources like water are renewable resources.

Non-Renewable resources:-

Non-renewable resources are those which are depleted before nature can replenish them. This category include huge number of important resources like mineral resource,wildlife and any more.


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cody1kc2 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Renewable energy can be easily replaced, such as water and sunlight energy. Nonrenewable energy cannot be easily replaced as in the fossil fuels (natural gas, oil, coal) that took thousands to millions of years to make.

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helen75 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Renewable resources are those that are replaced in nature at a rate close to their rate of use. Nonrenewable resources exist in fixed amounts or are used up faster than they can be replaced in nature.

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lv1997 | (Level 2) eNoter

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Renewable resources can be easily replaced after they are used.

Non-renewable resources are very difficult, if not impossible, to replace once they have been used. 

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zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Renewable resources are ones that can be replaced or reused as time goes on. Non renewable resources are those that can't be replaced or reused once it is out. For example, Sunlight, Air, these are renewable because they are reused everyday and do not run out. However, non renewable resources include coal, minerals, etc because once those run out they cannot be replenished 

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arrellbelle | Student, College Sophomore | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Just as the name suggests. Renewable resources are the sources that can be utilized over and over again. Examples would include sunlight, water, and oxygen. The opposite would be Non-Renewable resources. These would be resources that can no longer be used again once it has been used the first time. An example of that would be coal and oil.

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jessica500 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

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Non-renewable: Is something that will eventually run out and nature or anyone can no bring it back.

Renewable: Renewable is something that we can use over and over again and will never run out.



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