Life on Earth is the result of a continuous accumulation of information by combination and innovation using endo- (inside the organism) and exosomatic (outside the organism) energy. Sustenance occurs through cycles of life and death. We here define five life laws for these vital processes. These processes cannot exceed natural limits of size and rates because they are constrained by space, matter and energy; biology builds on what is possible within these physicochemical limits. Learning from the way nature deals with the accumulation of information, the limits of size and the rates at which life can acquire and expend energy and resources for maintenance, growth and competition will help us to model and manage our environmental future and sustainability.