Co-Eco Glossary

Cooperative: To cooperate or to be cooperative means to work, or operate, together: co- (together) plus operate. It means to work as a team. Operate means “to function”. When something is operating, it is working.  When people operate things, they are controlling the function of them, such as a machine, activity, or system. When there is cooperation between people and/or the natural world and/or the physical world, then they are working together.  When people are making decisions based on how they can better work together, and support the natural and/or physical world rather than be in conflict with them, all life tends to have a better potential for long-term survival.

Ecology or EcoEcology means how living things operate and function together. It is a science (study of how things work) that looks at the many systems of life. For example, if fish need water and plants to survive and grow in numbers, poison getting into the water or loss of plants in their environment where they live and protect their young may cause the whole group to die. When you understand ecology, you understand how living things work together as a sort of household, helping each other in an interdependent way to live in a happy and healthy condition. (“Eco” originally comes from the Greek word oikos that means “house”.)

System (as in ecosystem): A group of interconnected parts that are organized and operate in a specific way. Usually the organization of parts is created so that it helps life survive better. But there can be systems that destroy things, too.

Life: There are a lot of complicated definitions for the word life; but to make it simple for our purposes, life is anything that is alive—an animal or plant that can keep surviving and reproduce. This is a living condition as opposed to what is called inorganic matter – such as rocks, buildings, and objects like furniture and cars. These do not contain life organisms that grow from cells; they are not alive.

Survive: To survive means to be able to keep living. In the definition we use for this word, it does not mean to be barely living on the edge of existence, but rather to be living a healthy, happy, thriving life.

Co-Eco or Cooperative Ecology: Cooperative Ecology is defined as the study of the interdependency and cooperation of all life forms and the material world, working towards a mutually improved existence. It is based on the premise that all life forms in an ecosystem are interdependent, and all are engaged upon the same objective—to survive.  To the degree that they are working together towards their mutual survival, then the potential for long-term survival of each is enhanced.  To the degree that any one life form is not working towards the mutual survival of others, then their own potential for long-term survival is threatened.

To coecologize or to CoEco (verb): To help bring someone or something into better cooperation or harmony with the natural world; to make someone more aware of the mutual interdependency of all life and the physical world, and thereby bring about cooperation and mutual supportive existence.