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How many and what types of natural resources are available?

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Natural resources are naturally occurring materials that can be beneficially used as raw materials for various applications. These are generally classified as biotic and abiotic resources, depending upon their origin. If the resources originated from living things, they are termed biotic natural resources. These include plants, animals and fossil fuels (since they are formed from the decay of plants and/or animals). Fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas and petroleum are commonly used for energy production. If the resources did not originate from living things, they are termed abiotic resources. These include, air, water, sunlight, metals, non-metals, minerals, etc. Several of these, such as air and water, are essential for life on Earth.

These resources are sometimes also classified as renewable and non-renewable, depending upon how long it takes them to regenerate. For example, fossil fuels are non-renewable, while sunlight and wind are renewable resources. 

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