All external conditions, factors, matter, and energy, living and nonliving, that affect any living organism or other specified system
Interdisciplinary study that uses information and ideas from the physical sciences with those from the social sciences and humanities to learn how nature works, how we interact with the environment, and how we can to help deal with environmental problems
Biological science that studies the relationships between living organisms and their environment; study of the structure and functions or nature
Any form of life
Group of similar organisms, and for sexually reproducing organisms, they are a set of individuals that can mate and produce fertile offspring. Every organism is a member of a certain species.
One or more communities of different species interacting with one another and with the chemical and physical factors making up their nonliving environment
Natural resources and natural services that keep us and other species alive and support our economies
Materials such as air, water, and soil and energy in nature that are essential or useful to humans
Processes of nature, such as purification of air and water and pest control, which support life and human economies.
Essentially inexhaustible resource on a human time scale because it is renewed continuously. Solar energy is an example
Resource that can be replenished rapidly through natural processes as long as it is not used up faster than it is replaced. Examples include trees in forests, grasses in grasslands, wild animals, fresh surface water in lakes and streams, most groundwater, fresh air, and fertile soil. If such a resource is used faster than it is replenished, it can be depleted and converted into a nonrenewable resource.
Highest rate at which a potentially renewable resource can be used indefinitely without reducing its available supply.
Resource that exists in a fixed amount in the earth's crust and has the potential for renewal by geological, physical, and chemical processes taking place over hundreds of millions to billions of years. Examples include copper, aluminum, coal, and oil. We classify these resources as exhaustible because we are extracting and using them at a much faster rate than they are formed.
To use a product over and over again in the same form. An example is collecting, washing, and refilling glass beverage bottles. One of the 3 Rs.
To collect and reprocess a resource so that it can be made into a new products; one of the three R's of resource use. An example is collecting aluminum cans, melting them down, and using the aluminum to make new cans or other aluminum products.
Increase in the capacity to provide people with goods and services; an increase in gross domestic product (GDP).
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Annual market value of all goods and services produced by all firms and organizations, foreign and domestic, operating within a country.
Per Capita GDP
Annual gross domestic product (GDP) of a country divided by its total population at midyear. It gives the average slice of the economic pie per person. Used to be called per capita gross national product (GNP).
Improvement of living standards by economic growth.
Country that is highly industrialized and has a high per capita GDP
Less Developed Countries
Country that has low to moderate industrialization and low to moderate per capita GDP. Most are located in Africa, Asia, and Latin America
Undesirable change in the physical, chemical, biological characteristics of air, water, soil, or food that can adversely affect the health, survival, or activities of humans or other living organisms.
Single identifiable source that discharges pollutants into the environment. Examples include some stack of a power plant or an industrial plant, drainpipe
Broad and diffuse areas, rather than points, from which pollutants enter bodies of surface water or air. Examples include runoff of chemicals and sediments from cropland, livestock feedlots, logged forests, urban streets, parking lots, lawns and golf courses.
Pollution cleanup or output pollution control
Device or process that removes or reduces the level of a pollutant after it has been produced or has entered the environment. Examples include automobile emission control devices and sewage treatment plants.
pollution prevention or input pollution control
Device, process, or strategy used to prevent a potential pollutant from forming or entering the environment or to sharply reduce the amount entering the environment.
wealth that results in high levels of consumption and unnecessary waste of resources, based mostly on the assumption that buying more and more material goods will bring fulfillment and happiness
Amount of biologically productive land and water needed to supply a population with the renewable resources it uses and to absorb or dispose of the wastes from such resource use. It is a measure of the average environmental impact of populations in different countries and areas.
Per Capita Ecological Footprint
Amount of biologicallt productive land and water needed to supply each person or population with the renewable resources they use and to absorb or dispose of the wastes from such resource use. It measures the average environmental impact of individuals or populations in different countries and areas.
Ecological Tipping Point
Point at which an environmental problem reaches a threshold level, which causes an often irreversible shift in the behavior of a natural system.
Major cultural change in which people learn how to reduce their ecological footprints and live more sustainability, largely by copying nature and using the three principles
Growth in which some quantity, such as population size or economic output, increases at a constant rate per unit of time. An example is the growth sequence 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and so on, which increases by 100% at each interval. When the increase in quantity over time is plotted, this type of growth yields a curve shaped like the letter J.
Inability of people to meet their basic need for food, clothing, shelter
set of assumptions and beliefs about how people think the world works, what they think their role in the world should be, and what they believe is right and wrong environmental behavior
Human beliefs about what is right or wrong with how we treat the environment
Planetary Management Worldview
Worldview holding that humans are separate from nature, that nature exists mainly to meet our needs and increasing wants, and that we can use our ingenuity and technology
Worldview holding that we can manage the earth for our benefit but that we have an ethical responsibility to be caring and responsible managers of the earth
Environmental Wisdom Worldview
Worldview holding that humans are part of and totally dependent on nature and that nature exists for all species
Environmentally Sustainable Society
Society that meets the current and future needs of its people for basic resources in a just and equitable manner without compromising the ability of future generations of humans and other species from meeting their basic needs
Renewable resources such as plants, animals, and soil provided by natural capital
Result of getting people with different views and values to talk and listen to one another, find common ground based on understanding and trust