Vocabulary Related to Environment

Hi dear English learners! Here is a very important topic for you today. It is vocabulary related to environment. You may know how to talk about it in your language, but how familiar are you with this vocabulary in English? As you already know, we need to know how our environment is changing so that we can fight for the health and well-being of our one and only planet. In that sense, let’s look at some essential vocabulary related to the environment.

Acid rain

Meaning: rain whose pH is less than natural acidity  5-6. It is caused by burning substances such as coal or oil in the atmosphere.

  • Sulphur emissions cause acid rains which kill aquatic organisms in the local river.

Alternative/renewable energy

Meaning: alternative energy is coming from natural sources that don’t run out. It is also called renewable energy. Examples of renewable energy are sun, wind, water, etc.

  • The wind is an alternative energy source that delivers effective clean energy.


Meaning: we say that material is biodegradable if it can be decomposed by biological activity.

  • They produce biodegradable plastic bags nowadays. That’s great because plastic is indestructible. 


Meaning: The word biodiversity comes from two words: biological and diversity. Therefore, it refers to a variety of life (animals, plants, etc.) on the planet or in a specific area.

  • One of the goals of the Earth Summit was to help countries establish their own biodiversity protection strategies. 

Carbon monoxide

Meaning: A colourless gas formed by incomplete fuel combustion. People who breathe carbon monoxide get poisoned. It is very dangerous and can be fatal.

  • Sarah heard the carbon monoxide detector going off and immediately took the children and the dog outside.

Carbon footprint

Meaning:  the amount of carbon dioxide we produce through our activities.

  • People who are aware of environmental issues are always looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

Vocabulary related to environment

Climate change

Meaning: change in the weather of the planet, especially the increase in temperature caused by carbon dioxide emissions.

  • These environmental policies are intended to address the impacts of climate change.


Meaning: a product of a natural process of decomposing plants and leftover food into a fertilizer that helps plants grow. 

  •  Can you throw the apple peels in the compost pile down there?


Meaning: protection of the environment from harmful human activity.

  • The building is not allowed in conservation areas. 


Meaning: to add a substance that is poisonous or dangerous into the water, soil or similar.

  • Water in the villages along the river was contaminated after leaking at the chemical factory.

Vocabulary related to environment


Meaning: refers to cutting down or burning large areas of trees by humans.

  • The area is threatened by deforestation to create farmland for the cultivation of beans.


Meaning: a period without any rain that prevents crops from growing.

  • A severe drought hit the entire region, which caused famine.

Earth-friendly / eco-friendly / environmentally friendly

Meaning: a product that is not harmful to the environment.

  • In this supermarket, you can buy some very good eco-friendly detergents. 


Meaning: a science dealing with the way humans, plants and animals affect each other.

  • Mediterranean countries should cooperate in the area of ecology.


Meaning: all the living organisms such as animals and plants living in a certain area and the ways they interact with each other and the environment.

  • Clean water is very important for a healthy ecosystem.

Vocabulary related to environment

Carbon emissions

Meaning: carbon dioxide from car exhausts, planes, and factories that cause pollution and harm the environment.

  • The attendees of the Earth Summit agreed that carbon emissions are the key problem causing global warming.


Meaning: which no longer exists. Usually refers to animal and plant species that died out.

  • Three tiger species became extinct in the past century. 

Endangered species

Meaning: an animal or a plant that is in danger of becoming extinct because there are not many of them left.

  • The plan includes measures to protect the endangered species in the area.


Meaning: products that save energy such as appliances, materials, etc.

They used energy-saving construction materials when building the house.

Fair trade

Meaning: trade between companies in developed countries and producers in developing countries during which fair prices are paid to the producers.

  • Everyone says that fair trade gives power to poor people.

Vocabulary related to environment


Meaning: a huge amount of water covering a normally dry area.

  • A few Indian villages were drowned by the recent flood.

Fossil fuel

Meaning: fuel made from animals and plants remains over millions of years.

  • Oil and coal are fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide when burned.


Meaning: a farming system in which animals are free to move around rather than being kept in cages.

  • Mary always buys eggs from free-range chickens.

Global warming

Meaning: the rise in temperature in the Earth’s atmosphere caused by the increase of carbon dioxide emissions.

  • Many Pacific islands no longer exist due to global warming.

Greenhouse effect

Meaning: an increase of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases in the atmosphere, which causes global warming.

  • Everyone agrees that carbon dioxide is the most significant contributor to the greenhouse effect.

Vocabulary related to environment


Meaning: food produced without any artificial chemicals.

  • More and more people choose to eat organic food.


Meaning: dense tropical forests that have lots of rain.

  • Hundreds of acres of rainforests are being burned every day.


Meaning: to treat waste materials (paper, plastic, tin, etc.)  so that they can be re-used.

  • Germany recycles 70% of their waste.


Meaning: using the sun to produce energy.

  • Solar panels are becoming more and more popular. 


Meaning: using natural sources in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.

  • They created a sustainable system of healthy food production.
Vocabulary related to environment
Vocabulary related to environment

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