Ecology is the study of man and his environment. The natural environment contains all natural resources that are necessary for life: the air, the oceans, the sun and the land. Because these resources are vital for life, ecologists study their importance and how to use them  carefully.

Ecologists often divide resources into two groups: renewable and non-renewable. When we use a resource, it takes some time to replace it. If we can replace the resource quickly, it is called renewable.

It is non-renewable if we cannot replace it quickly and easily.

For example,  grass for animals is a renewable resource. When animals eat the grass, usually more grass will grow. Coal, however, is non-renewable because it takes millions of years to make coal. All fossil fuels are non-renewable resources.

The decomposition, or decay, of organic materials forms fossil fuels and they include coal, oil and gas. We  started using these fossil fuels in large quantities less than 200 years ago and we haven’t stopped since.

Some scientists now predict that we will exhaust our supplies of fossil fuels in 50 years. In other words, in 50 years there won’t be any fossil fuels left. Many resources are non-renewable. As a result, we must conserve  them.

That is, we must use them carefully. There are several ways to do this. First, we must find and use new resources. Second, we should find new uses for old resources. Third, we shouldn’t waste any resources. Last, we must try to recycle the already available resources. In this way, we can use the same material over and over again.




1. Which resources are ‘natural resources’?
2. When did we start using great amounts of fossil fuels?
3. How many ways of using resources carefully are mentioned in the text?

B. What do the following refer to?
1. ‘them’ (line 4):
2. ‘It’ (line 8):
3. ‘to do this’ (lines 20-21):
C. Mark the best choice.

1. Line 3, Vital’ means

a) bad b) unnecessary c) important
2. Line 17, to ‘exhaust’ means to

a) provide b) finish c) find
E. Mark the statements as True (T) or False (F).

1. An ecologist studies man and his environment.
2. We can replace non-renewable resources quickly.
3. When we recycle a resource, we can use it only once.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *