Solastalgia refers to a sense of distress, loss and/or sadness at environmental change noticeable by an inhabitant or group of inhabitants of that environment. It contains a sense of feeling "homesick" for how the environment one lives in or frequents used to be, as a result of major changes that have occurred to it.
For example, a farming community may have noticed increased desolation of the land they live on due to drought, fire or the impacts of climate change. Where once a garden may have grown with abundance, now cracked and depleted soil is all that is left. Or, land may have been completely changed due to human activities such as coal mining or deforestation, and homes in the area that once fronted forests and grassy hills now overlook barren landscape. This may cause psychological distress, as those living there know how the environment was once, but now have to live with the depleted change in the land. Such changes may mean that the land is no longer productive, beautiful or healthy.
A sense of powerlessness or helplessness to do anything to prevent the destructive environmental change amplifies the psychological distress.