The ancient Greeks were the first ecologists on the planet, based on the quality of life in the city-states they created, where other nations lived nomadically. For example, in ancient Athens, every owner had the right to cut down up to two olive trees per year.
Solon had set a reward of 5 drachmas for killing a male wolf, but only one drachma for each young wolf because the goal was to reduce, but not to exterminate the species.
Legislative measures have also been taken to reduce urban pollution. For example, waste and manure had to be transported over long distances in order to be far away from the city. There was one person responsible for controlling the wells and fountains in ancient Athens.
Peisistratos banned water tanks because of the risk of contamination from stagnant water and water wastage.
To protect the environment of the city, the dairies and tanneries, which emitted unpleasant odors, and the cemeteries had to be set up outside the settlements.
In Lavrio, ovens that were used to melt the metals were set up southeast of the settlements, as the prevailing winds in this area blow from the north and northwest.
In his book On Air, Water, Earth, Hippocrates emphasizes that environmental conditions not only shape the character and creativity of people but their own health too and that the diseases that afflict them, are the result of the climate, food, drinking water quality, etc.
Xenophon dealt extensively with the connection between resources – land – human labor. Aristotle considered the goal of the economy to be the production of goods only for immediate use.
Both point to the dangers of the overproduction of goods. Oversupply leads to unnecessary wealth and leads to bliss, exploitation of people, waste of resources, creation of false needs and ultimately to the perversion of the human character.
For the ancient Greeks, large public buildings and houses had to be part of the esthetic design of the surroundings and also to be in moderation and balance.
The sense of “moderation” is not only a question of esthetics but also a rule of moral and political behavior.
There were also many policies for the protection of the environment like the drainage of the marshes, the water supply and sewage system of the settlements.