In recognition of Earth Day on April 22, we’ve compiled a glossary of top eco-friendly terms to help you on your way of fostering a more earth-friendly lifestyle.
Alternative Energy: Energy from non-fossil-fuel sources such as geothermal energy, solar energy or wind energy.
Alternative Fuels: Not made out of petrol or diesel; non-conventional fuels. Some examples include biodiesel, natural gas, methane, and non-fossil methane
Biodegradable: Basically any substance or material that decays when decomposing bacteria or organisms feed on them.
Biodiesel Fuel: A clean-burning alternative fuel derived from renewable resources such as animal fats and vegetable oils. It does not cause any detrimental effects to the environment. It does not contain substances such as sulfur and aromatics found in traditional fuels.
Carbon Footprint: A measure of your environmental impact through greenhouse gas emissions. Want to know your carbon footprint? Check out The Nature Conservancy’s carbon footprint calculator .
CFL or Compact Fluorescent Lamp: A type of fluorescent lamp, CFLs consume less power and last longer.
Chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs: Commonly found in refrigerators and air conditioning units, these are chemical compounds with carbon, chlorine, fluorine and hydrogen. The chlorine depletes the ozone layer.
Climate Change: Alterations in the climate and weather patterns across the world brought about by human activity.
Composting: Collecting wastes that decompose naturally as soil fertilizer, conditioner, mulch, resurfacing material or landfill cover. This becomes rich in minerals.
Ecotourism, eco-tourism or ecological tourism: A responsible way of traveling such that ecologically protected areas are promoted and preserved. Conservation fees are normally asked from tourists and travelers to provide for the care and protection of these areas.
Energy Efficient: A way by which products, goods and/or services consume minimal energy while still performing above average.
Environmentally friendly, eco-friendly or earth-friendly: These are all adjectives depicting any product, service, or action that helps promote minimal damage to the environment.
Fossil Fuels: Oil and natural gas derived from decomposed fossils. Burning these fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thus contributing to climate change and the greenhouse effect.
Geothermal Energy: Heat coming from the Earth’s core.
Global Warming: A rise in the earth’s temperature, causing climate change.
Going Green or Green: The process by which one adopts environmentally friendly or eco-friendly use of energy or materials.
Greenhouse Effect: The occurrence when air temperature in the lower atmosphere rises due to trapped gases like carbon dioxide and CFCs.
Greenhouse Gases: Gases which trap heat in the atmosphere.
Hydroelectric Energy: Electric energy produced by the movement of water.
Hydroflourocarbons: Used as refrigerants, solving and cleansing agents. According to experts, hydrofluorocarbons contribute more to global warming than carbon dioxide.
LED / LED Lighting or Light-emitting Diodes: These produce more light versus incandescent light bulbs. They are said to last 15 times longer, consume less energy and is a safer lighting alternative that is not harmful to the environment.
Non-renewable energy sources: Energy sources such as from fossil fuels which eventually will be depleted.
Non-toxic: Products that are not made up of poisonous or toxic substances.
Organic: Growing vegetables without the use of pesticides or fertilizer. Organic now also refers to products made from all-natural materials, meaning no synthetic materials were used.
Ozone Layer: The Earth’s upper atmosphere which protects the planet from excessive ultraviolet radiation.
Plastic: A man-made semi-synthetic material that is durable and flexible. These degrade at such a very slow rate, and manufacturing them creates a sizeable amount of chemical quantities.
Recyle: The act of gathering, sorting, and reprocessing of old material into usable raw materials.
Reduce: The act of lessening or minimizing consumption of materials that end up as waste.
Renewable Energy Sources: Energy sources other than from fossil fuels. Some examples are geothermal, hydro, biomass, solar, wind and ocean energy. They’re called renewable because we can keep replenishing them.
Reuse: The act of repurposing materials to extend their usability rather than disposing of them or recycling them immediately.
Solar Energy: Energy from the sun.
Thermal Energy: Heat energy, derived from a variety of sources.
Water Conservation: The act by which the use and consumption of water is minimized; also where waste water is reused for other purposes such as cleaning, etc.
Wind Power. Energy from the wind, usually collected and transmitted via wind generators or wind turbines.
You might also want to read the following articles: Going Green: Baby Steps Parents Can Take to Have an Eco Friendly Home (part 1 of 4) Going Green: Change Begins with Your Eco Friendly Home (part 2 of 4)Going Green: Eco Friendly Shopping (part 3 of 4)Going Green: Sustainable Living On-The-Go (part 4 of 4)