Keep in mind that figurative language (also called figures of speech) is language that is descriptive and not meant to be taken literally. Figurative language is most often accomplished through the use of similes or metaphors. A simile is the comparison of two unlike things and using the words "like" or "as." A metaphor is a direct comparison of two unlike things and does not use "like" or "as."
If two friends are figuratively speaking about the environment they might say something like:
The sun is scorching today. (Metaphor)
I am so cold I think my fingers might fall off. (Metaphor and hyperbole)
The ocean is so calm today. It looks like glass. (Simile)
There are several different kinds of figurative language, which include simile, metaphor, imagery, alliteration, personification, onomatopoeia, and hyperbole. An example dialogue, which includes simile, alliteration, hyberbole, metaphor, and personification follows below.
"The environment is suffering like a sad, sullen, soldier. It will never recover," said Sally.
"I disagree," retorted Sam, "the earth is a beautiful, strong woman who will never be held down."
Simile - "...suffering like a..."
Alliteration - "...sad, sullen, soldier..."
Hyperbole - the use of exaggeration
Metaphor and Personification - "...earth is a beautiful, strong woman..."