A non-renewable resource is a natural resource which cannot be produced, grown, generated, or used on a scale which can sustain its consumption rate, once depleted there is no more available for future needs. Also considered non-renewable are resources that are consumed much faster than nature can create them. Fossil fuels (such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas), nuclear power (uranium) and certain aquifers are examples. In contrast, resources such as timber (when harvested sustainably) or metals (which can be recycled) are considered renewable resources.
A renewable resource is a natural resource
with the ability of being replaced through biological or other natural
processes and replenished with the passage of time. Renewable resources
are part of our natural environment and form our eco-system.
In 1962, within a report to the committee on natural resources which
was forwarded to the President of the United States, Paul Weiss defined
Renewable Resources as: "The total range of living organisms providing man with food, fibers, drugs, etc...".
Renewable resources are endangered by industrial developments and
growth. They must be carefully managed to avoid exceeding the natural
world's capacity to replenish them. A life cycle assessment provides a systematic means of evaluating renewability. This is a matter of sustainability in the natural environment.
Solar radiation, tides, winds, geothermal, biomass and other natural elements are renewable resources of energy now called renewable energies.
Gasoline, coal, natural gas, diesel and other commodities derived from fossil fuels, as well as minerals like copper and others, are non-renewable resources without a sustainable yield.