It is not easy to make a proper classification of the environment, looking at the diversity of the world in which we live. But there are two commonly known and accepted types of environment – natural or geographical environment, and man-made environment. Before discussing them, let’s have a look at what the environment is.
In simple words, the environment is our surroundings in which we live – it includes both the biotic and abiotic factors around us. We live in an environment, which may be a natural, social, or built environment. These are the surrounding conditions in which humans, plants, and animals live.
Every individual existing in the environment has an impact on it because the environment also influences an individual's behaviour. Thus, it can be clearly stated that individuals and the environment are related and are complementary to each other.
The existence of the environment is significant because not only human life but any living being cannot survive without it. It provides natural beauty, maintains the balance of life, supports the food chain and benefits living lives and their various activities.
Types of Environment
The classification of the environment broadly divides it into two categories – Geographical and Manmade environment.
Geographical environment is the terrestrial environment that is a creation of complex natural and environmental conditions. Although it arose independently of humankind, it is the complement of direct interaction between nature and human society.
Geographical environment revolves around the subjects of climatology, geology, biogeography, etc. They are direct aspects of how human society conceptualizes the geography of the Earth.
Geographical environment is also called a natural environment as it interacts with nature. The earth surface, rivers, mountains, deserts, land, water, oceans, volcanoes, etc. come under the natural environment examples.
Man cannot directly live in the geographical environment, so he creates some of his environmental conditions to adjust to it. This is a man-made or human-made environment, a human creation.
A man-made environment is also called a social environment. It has two types -
The Inner Environment
The inner environment is the social environment that endures as long as society cherishes. The inner environment has a profound impact on human lives.
The inner environment is often called the 'social heritage' as it is an important factor for humankind to exist, live and arise. It is entirely dependent on human social influence.
The Outer Environment
The outer environment is the physical environment that man has created on his own with the evolving technology and science. It is the modification of the physical environment that has helped cope up with the progress of mankind and the development of the environment.
It includes city infrastructures, houses, various amenities provided at the social and individual level, transport and communication, and much more. It can be said that the outer environment changes more rapidly than the inner one because it is in the hand of man and his evolving technology.
1. What are the Main Types of Environments?
The environment is broadly divided into two categories – Geographical environment and Manmade environment.
2. What is Meant by the Geographical Environment?
Geographical environment is also known as the natural environment, and it consists of all the components of natural components such as air, water, river, mountains, land, deserts, and many more.
3. What Does a Manmade Environment Mean?
The man-made environment, as the name suggests, is created by human beings. It includes inner aspects such as customs and traditions and outer aspects such as physical developments in the society.
4. What is the Importance of a Geographical Environment?
Geographical environment is provided to us by nature, and all these natural resources help in the survival of mankind. But an excessive use and careless attitude towards them will, in turn, cost us, in the form of natural disasters and scarcity of resources.
5. How can I Differentiate Between Geographical and Manmade Environments?
A manmade environment includes every material and non-material concept created by man. It will exist as long as human society exists. But the geographical environment includes everything natural, and it does not depend upon human existence. This is an easy way to differentiate between the two.