These were formed in millions of years, from decomposition of dead remains of living organisms. We have been heavily using them for our increasing energy needs. However, it is a big problem as these have limited reserves and will end soon, if we keep on using them at present rate. Also, burning fossil fuels causes lot of pollution and greenhouse effect. Since coal and petroleum have been formed from bio–mass, these contain hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur. When these are burnt, the products are carbon dioxide, water, oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulphur. When combustion takes place in insufficient air (oxygen), then carbon monoxide is formed instead of carbon dioxide. Of these products, the oxides of sulphur and nitrogen and carbon monoxide are poisonous at high concentrations and carbon dioxide is a green-house gas. Also, coal and petroleum are huge reservoirs of carbon and if all of this carbon is converted to carbon dioxide, then the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase leading to intense global warming. Thus, we need to use these resources judiciously. Therefore, we should move on to renewable, environment friendly sources of energy.

We can do this by following ways:

(i) Taking a bus or public transport than our own cars

(ii) Taking the stairs than taking a lift

(iii) Switching off unnecessary lights and fans

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