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In the world, there are thousands of different kinds of minerals. They can be found all around us and there is literally nowhere you can go without being surrounded by them. Minerals are chemically and physically homogeneous, inorganic compounds that occur naturally in the Universe. Some of them you find as a bare mineral that you can see and recognize by looking at them, while others are too small and you might need a microscope to find them. One mineral can occur alone or in combination with other minerals.
The most common place to find minerals is in the ground. Mountains, deserts, clay and volcanoes are all made up of minerals. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors and can be both soft and hard. Because of the great variety of features in minerals, they are found in all kinds of things; in our food as salt, in construction materials such as concrete and steel, in our computers, smartphones, tablets, electric cars and even in our refrigerator magnets.
Some minerals that we use are finite, meaning we might run out of the supplies one day. To make sure we do not end up without the minerals that are important for us, we need to be aware of how we use them and not to waste them.
Environment: Minerals that we use in our daily life affects the surrounding environment. Some minerals cause damage to ecosystems when released into the nature or become a health risk when humans are exposed to them in big quantities. Limiting the risks with dangerous minerals is challenging.
Technology: In most of our information technology devices, minerals are an important material used in their construction. Some of the minerals used are difficult to find, expensive to extract and also at a risk of being used until nothing is left. It is important to find ways how to overcome this problem.
Safety: Working with minerals often involves critical moments with potential danger, both when minerals are extracted from the earth and when they are processed in laboratories and factories. Hence, we have to make sure that the people have a safe workplace.

Minerals in daily life, Natural resources, Sustainability, Recycling, Fair trade

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