Our environment means our physical surroundings and the characteristics of the place in which we live. It also refers to the wider natural world of land, sea, and atmosphere. Humans have been interacting with their environment since people first walked the Earth. For example, humans have been cutting down forests to clear land to grow crops for centuries and by doing so we have altered the environment. Conversely, the environment affects us in many different ways as well. A simple example is the way we change our clothes in response to cold or hot weather.
A good climate, accessible clean water, fertile soil, etc. are aspects of the physical environment that enable people to live and thrive. However, harsh environments, such as a very hot climate, limited water, and infertile land, make it more difficult for people to survive. We are also affected by major environmental events such as earthquakes, floods, and drought that damage homes, property, and agriculture. These can lead to the displacement of people and can cause injury, loss of life, and destruction of livelihoods. They can also damage water sources and pipelines, causing water contamination and spreading waterborne diseases.