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Black Creek
An example of the environment
OIC kalbarri NP nature's window.jpg

Environment is the sum total of what is around something or someone. It includes living things and natural forces. The environment of living things provides conditions for development and growth, as well as of danger and damage. Living things do not simply exist in their environment. They constantly interact with it. Organisms change in response to conditions in their environment. The environment consists of the interactions among plants, animals, soil, water, temperature, light, and other living and non-living things.

The word environment is used to talk about many things. People in different fields of knowledge (like history, geography or biology) use the word differently. An electromagnetic environment is the various radio waves that equipment such as radio and radar can meet. Galactic environment refers to conditions between the stars. [1]

In psychology and medicine a person's environment is the people, physical things, places, and events that the person lives with. The environment affects the growth and development of the person. It affects the person's behavior. It affects the person's body, mind and heart.

Discussions on nature versus nurture are sometimes framed as heredity vs environment.

Natural environment

In biology and ecology the environment is all of the natural materials and living things, including sunlight. This is also called the natural environment. Some people call themselves environmentalist. They think we must protect the environment (to keep it safe.) They think people should not put so much pollution (waste) into the environment. The important things in the environment that we value are called natural resources. For example fish, sunlight, and forests. These are renewable natural resources because more grow naturally when we use them. Non-renewable natural resources are important things in the environment that do not come back naturally, for example ores and fossil fuels.

Historical environment

See also: Relativism

Environment is the events and culture that a person lived in. A person's beliefs and actions are dependent on his environment. For example, Thomas Jefferson and Julius Caesar owned slaves. Modern people mostly think it's wrong to own slaves. But in Jefferson's and Caesar's different environments slavery was normal. So, their actions did not look as wrong in their societies.


  1. Galactic Environment American Scientist