Environment means all of the outside forces, events and things that act on a thing. A person's environment is made up of everything that surrounds him or her, including houses, buildings, people, animals, land, temperature, water, light, and other living and non-living things. 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.
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 and mind.
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 environmentalists. These people think that harmony with the environment is important. 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 coal and natural gas.
In literature and history, 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; see Relativism.
- "environment". Dictionary.com. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/environment. Retrieved 10 June 2013.