We are increasingly dependent on rock and mineral materials to create consumer products that support our way of life, our health, and the global economy. This includes much more than just obvious fossil fuels for energy and water resources for commercial, recreational and domestic use. Your cell phone, computer, furniture, cars, bicycles and cosmetics are only a few of the places where you come in contact with Earth’s mineral resources in your everyday life. Things we use for our favorite hobbies and recreation also rely on mineral materials to make them stronger, lighter, and more flexible. Advances in materials science have allowed bicycles, once largely made of steel, to incorporate parts made of aluminum, carbon fiber, magnesium, and titanium that make them lighter and more durable. Aluminum, fiberglass, graphite, titanium, zirconium, beryllium, copper, tungsten, and steel have replaced wood in baseball bats, tennis racquets, and golf clubs to make them lighter and stronger. Race tracks, as well as playing surfaces for baseball and tennis, are a prescribed mixture of clay, sand, and silt. Earth’s resources are intricate to our lives; we need to manage them for a sustainable future!

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