The environment is the natural world and the conditions in which people, plants, and animals live. It encompasses the physical, chemical, and biological elements of the planet, as well as the impact of human activities on the environment. Components of the environment include the atmosphere, oceans, land, and organisms. Humans have a significant effect, both positive and negative, on the environment. Examples of the environment range from the air we breathe to the land we inhabit, from the water we drink to the ecosystems of which we are a part. It is essential to understand the components of the environment and the impact of human activities on it in order to protect and preserve it for future generations.