What Is the Environment?

Environment refers to the entire physical, biological, and socio-cultural factors that affect the human activities that take place within an area. The entire environment is present in all places but are not necessarily the same. The environment cannot be categorized into absolute terms as it could exist in various forms. This indicates that there are numerous types of environments.


The natural environment encompasses all living things and non-living things happening naturally, which means in this sense not man made. The word is most commonly used in conjunction with the Earth or any specific portions of the Earth. It usually refers to the non-human or biotic factors that affect a particular place in the physical as well as biological domains. These could be such factors as the climate, the physical and the chemical properties of the soil, air, and water. In this way they provide living things with an environment to live, support, breed, and develop.

Environment could also be categorized into two parts, the living environment and the non-living environment. The living environment refers to the conditions existing in the place where living organisms occur and thrive, and the non-living environment refers to all the materials created by living organisms that need to be removed for their own survival. This means all places in the Earth can be classified as either living or nonliving. The classification is usually based on the physical characteristics of the planet. The Earth therefore has four main sections: the atmosphere, the land surface, the water surface, and the biomes.