First, let us understand what environment means and what it is all about. When we usually speak of the environment we immediately are aware of the current alarming alerts that our environment is in danger. But what exactly is the environment? And what exactly is in danger? Let us start at the beginning by understanding our environment, how it works, and then how it is affected by outside influences. We will also look at some fun and interesting facts about our environment. You can learn how to help preserve your environment and by doing so create a fun and lively future.
Understanding the environment.
An environment is defined by the surrounding factors that influence a functioning system of interdependent parts that are of a living thing. Let me say this in easier terms: The environment is actually the external parts of something, could be one thing or made up of many things, living or non-living that are apart of a system. This system includes other living or non-living things. The natural interaction of the different parts of a system of course can influence changes to each others parts. In our case, the natural world is made up of living things and some non-living things. This includes the land, water, and air and all the things that are between these things. Such as the lands and its vegetation, the seas and its sea life, and the air, well its vitality for our survival and all living things in the natural world. The environment is made up of things like other living creatures, like mankind, and some non-living factors like wind, temperatures, day length, and ocean currents.
Are you getting the picture? So in reality when we say our environment is in danger we should realize that we are a part of the environment! Most people think of the earth first. That the earth is in danger, well guess what it means we are in danger. Our living selves are the ones affected by the influence of our natural world. And vise versa. It is a two way street. The earth’s alarming changes are going to affect our existence. And what is causing the alarming changes to the earth? Us! Our interaction with our natural world has caused and continues to cause the alarming changes we see on our earth today. I know this doesn’t sound fun as my title suggests, but I believe the fun is in knowing.
Natural World + Mankind = Life. Any change in that equation changes the summation. Save the Natural World. Save Mankind.
How our environment works.
Well, now that we are clearer about what the environment means, we can look into its workings. Okay, this is easy so listen up. Natural world and mankind interact. This interaction is called an ecosystem. This is how it works. The ecosystem is not actually a thing such as you can touch. It is the ways in which things interact. Example, remember you are the environment, and you throw trash on the ground, the trash is an outside factor and the way you disposed of it is the way you chose to work with your natural world. This is the system, which I believe we can no longer call it an ecosystem but rather an icky-system; that is contributing to the changes to the natural world and in turn if the natural world changes then it affects us. Aw! The circle of life. Of course, there are many types of ecosystems among all levels of living things, but we are discussing the ecosystem of the environment and the natural world.
The environmental cause and effect.
I’m going to put this in two parts because as I mentioned earlier this is a two way street. First, this matter is in our hands and we should understand that we have to take responsibility for our interaction with the natural world simply because we are the higher intelligence, which is in question. The natural world just does its thing by greater powers unknown. It doesn’t have its own will like mankind. It operates on a perfect system. We operate on soft drinks and hamburgers. Can you begin to see the problem?
As, the most intelligent part of the environment, we are not making smart choices as to how we interact with the natural world. It is that simple. We give it trash and it gives us a thrash. As a people we are prone to destructive behavior, but come on!
As, the natural world, it is a living thing with no will, but is in need of love and nurturing, the same as mankind. It is a parable of our very existence. Yet we carelessly overlook that for temporary pleasures that fade away so quickly, only needed to be filled again. Thus, the take, take, take, effect. When we love and nurture the world it gives us beautiful gifts. When we love and nurture mankind it can give us beautiful gifts. But it only seems, we as mankind, have lost that loving feeling.
Interesting and fun facts about the environment.
Let’s lighten the mood and look at some of the interesting and fun facts about the environment. Although most of these facts are more detailed than fun they are amazing signs of the great power our world beholds.
Amazing facts on the development of our environment and geography:
Around 4.55 billion years ago, solar wind altered the earth’s atmosphere. Earth’s primitive atmosphere was reconstructed by the continuous stream of charged particles known as the solar winds.
Also, around 4.55 billion years ago, mass volcanic eruptions released huge quantities of gases, generating the atmosphere and filling the oceans.
2.50 billion years, approximated, banded iron formation was discovered to have settled on the ocean’s bed. Creating the belief that the oceans contained oxygen, while the atmosphere does not.
Maybe about 2900 BC, The biblical Deluge, in other words the great flood, occurred round this time. I wonder what brought that on. (I say maybe, because these times can not be exact but, there are scientific proofs that these events took place in our environment.)
Maybe about 1700 BC, earthquakes begin to topple civilizations. Such as, the Minoan civilizations were affected. (Same goes here.)
Around 780 BC, the first recorded earthquake was documented by Chinese Scholars. Hey, cool, those guys are so smart.
Interesting discoveries about our environment:
1000 BC, approximate, the first map of the world was created in Babylon. It shows that earth looks like a disk surrounded by water. And of course, Babylon is in the center. Who doesn’t want to be the center of attention?
Around 800 BC, the Greeks discover the benefits of building their cities on the Mediterranean and Aegean coastal areas. This movement took place due to the expanding populations and their living needs. The beginning of take, take, take. No, I’m sure they had no idea. They thought they just made a smart move. Besides without many of the Greeks discoveries we wouldn’t be enjoying some of the beautiful living we have today.
1654, a German physicist named Otto Von Guericke exhibited the first air pump, called the Magdeburg hemisphere. It demonstrates by fitting two hollow hemispheres together, them removes the air with a pump. As the air is pumped back into the hemispheres the hemispheres fall apart. Ah! What does that tell you? A fine discovery of what could happen to our environment if we don’t pay attention.
1864, George Marsh, an American, publishes the first textbook called “Physical Geography as Modified by Human Activity, on conservation that demonstrated the impact humans have on the environment and the damage we could cause. Guess he was right.
Amazing features and abilities of our environment:
The Devils Tower is an amazing example that displays traits of columnar cooling characteristics, which is something cool our natural world can do. This occurs when volcanic basalt lava cools and multi-lateral surface cracks grow through the cooling rock.
Native American stories claim these to be the claw marks of a big bear. Could be?
The Cliffs of Normandy are a distinguishing momentous example of our world’s features. Made of limestone and shaped by the natural movement of the water on soft parts of the stone. There is geological evidence that a land bridge connected the two land masses together during the Cretaceous Era.
A Beautiful Piece of Work! You Go World.
Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is another example of volcanic basalt columns. They are so cool looking. I think this is where the idea for legos comes from. See how much we can learn from our natural surroundings.
These are just a couple example of the geological features and abilities of the world we are living and interacting in. There is a ton more things in all areas of life and this world. It begins from things we can see, to things beyond our imagination. It is endless and we have yet to figure it all out. But the appreciation of our world is being set aside for things less sustaining. Let us take a look into how we can make better choices to sustain our world by working with a natural ecosystem that will keep our world alive thus, preserving the environment.
How can you help preserve your environment.
Be responsible. I know you may think my God! Like life is not asking enough of you already but it is really not all that hard and can be fun. It can inspire you and create passion. Isn’t that something we are all missing these days. Passion! Just check out these ideas and give it a try.
Your transportation. If you drive a car make sure it is in well tuned. This will save gas and make less pollution. That is easy. If you take public transportation that is even better. And if you can walk, or ride a bike, wow you are really getting the idea.
Your food. Eat organic and buy food grown in your local area. This is to ensure organic foods take priority, which are safe for you and your environment. Buying local grown foods, you are saving the fuel used to import your food from some far off place. That will cut out the extra pollution make from the delivery trucks.
Your energy sources. Research which renewable energies are available in your area. Sign up! If they don’t have something, request it. Get involved and see how you can support Renewable Energy for the future. This will reserve our resources and save on emissions that are killing our environment. This will take some effort, but nothing that hurts. Come on, get in there.
Your home. Change your light bulbs with energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs. Weather proofing your home can save on energy use and cost. So get to it. Change your showerheads and faucets to ensure no water is being wastes. Lower your water thermostats to a sensible temperature that would be around 120F. Buy energy saving electronics and appliances. This is easy stuff and when you shop it shows the retailers that you mean business and you want the best for your money.
Extra activities. Plant trees! Or at least water the ones you have. Trees make oxygen and I am sure you know how important that is. Just realize the value of a tree and plants. You could also donate to organizations that specialize in this category.
Recycle. Now you know everyone is talking about recycling. If you feel you don’t know what to do, just research the internet for fun ideas on this subject. Why waste money on new things that can be reused or turned into something new. If you recycle and save it will come back to you in better ways. If you just throw it away you’ll never see it again. Does that sound like a deal?
Campaign. Okay this is really an extra step. If you make an effort just to live clean I wouldn’t blame you. Campaigning is really for those with passion. Remember that passion I was talking about? Well, campaigning can mean just informing others in your community and petitioning for renewable energy and recycling systems to be put in place in you town or city. This can be branched out on many levels depending on how much passion you have. Good Luck!
This piece can hardly touch on the vastness of our environment. So don’t be afraid to check out all the possibilities. I just hope I was able to get you interested in the idea of all that our environment is and can be. Our environment is an amazing and wonderful creation. Why let it go?
Zimmerman, Michael. “Environment.” Microsoft® Student 2007 [DVD].
Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2006.
Pictures from Microsoft® Student 2007 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2006.