Through the expansion of human activities, humanity has evolved to become a driving force of global environmental change and influences a substantial and growing part of natural ecosystem trophic interactions and energy flows. However, by constructing and building its own niche, human distance from nature increased remarkably during the last decades due to processes of globalization and urbanization. This increasing disconnect has both material and immaterial consequences for how humans interact and connect with nature. Indeed, many regions across the world have disconnected themselves from the productivity of their regional environment by: (1) accessing biological products from distant places through international trade, and (2) using non-renewable resources from outside the biosphere to boost the productivity of their natural environment. Both mechanisms allow for greater resource use then would be possible otherwise, but also involve complex sustainability challenges and lead to fundamentally different feedbacks between humans and the environment.