The availability of natural resources depends on supply. Many important resources are nonrenewable, so once they are used up they will be gone forever. The earth’s supply of diamonds is limited, and most have already been mined. However, there are also non-renewable resources that exist in abundance such as sand and gravel. Running out of sand and gravel is not an issue.
The price of natural resources depends on the supply of them as well as the ease of locating and extracting them. The price of oil has increased over time as the earth’s supply is used up. Resources that are difficult to use will not be utilized until there is a practical price.
Politics can affect the availability of natural resources. If a particular country has a lot of a resource, it can export it to other countries. If a country needs a particular resource, it can import these resources. Exporters and importers may encounter difficulties in negotiating prices. Since the exporter usually sets the price, the importer may encounter difficulties to adapting those set prices to match the conditions of their economy.
Waste is the result of overconsumption. Often, items made from natural resources are easier to dispose of than fix when they break. As a result, waste is created. Discarded materials cause pollution to land, water, and air. Today, e-waste (from electronic waste) is a big form of waste because many consumers buy new electronic devices regularly and dispose of their old ones. Currently, there are efforts being made to recycle electronic devices by reusing valuable parts and materials in new technology.