Lesson 1: Environment


Human beings live in villages, cities or towns which were originally forests, mountains or deserts. City dwellers have to get food from villages which grow various crops that are dependent on forests, grasslands, rivers, sea shores for resources such as water and nutrients. Our life depends on environment. We inhale oxygen, drink water, eat food produced in the nature, and exhale carbon dioxide, dispose wastes and by-products in it. We cannot continue to live without protecting the environment. Each action of us has an adverse effect on environment. For e.g. – Use of fertilizers and pesticides leads to soil infertility, Construction of mega – dams’ leads to displacement of people etc.


Environment is our “mother nature” and respecting nature is vital to protect our own livelihoods. Environmental protection is very important from three perspectives i.e. productive value, aesthetic value and option value.

  • Productive value of nature: World’s species like plants and insects contain incredible and uncountable number of complex chemicals. These are the raw materials used for developing new medicines and industrial products. If we degrade and destroy their habitat, these species will become extinct. Thus, it is our responsibility to protect all living species, for sustainable living.

  • Aesthetic / recreational value of nature:National parks, wild life sanctuaries and rivers in undisturbed areas have recreational value. It brings about an understanding of the oneness of nature & intricate functioning of ecosystems. The recreational facilities like nature walk, trekking, rock climbing, river rafting, para sailing etc. not only provide a pleasurable experience, but are also intended to create a deep respect & love for nature. In an urban setting, green spaces & gardens are vital to the psychological and physical health of city dwellers; and create nature awareness.

  • Option value of nature:Every consumption activity of ours has an adverse impact on nature’s integrity. Nature provides us with various options on how we utilize its goods and services. We have the ‘option’ to use goods and services greedily to destroy its integrity or we can use its resources sustainably to reduce the degradation of environment. “The earth provides enough to satisfy every persons need but not every person’s greed” is the vision of Mahatma Gandhiji.
Last modified: Tuesday, 27 December 2011, 9:43 AM