Green Vocabulary

Green Vocabulary

Green Vocabulary

Abundance– the property of a more than adequate quantity or supply.

Abyssal – relating to ocean depths from 2000 to 5000 meters. Resembling an abyss in depth; so deep as to be unmeasurable.

Acid Rain – precipitation that is more acidic than normal.

Acute Toxicity -when toxic substances are harmful shortly after exposure.

Aerial – existing or living or growing or operating in the air. Is characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; as impalpable or intangible as air.

Ad Bluster – This happens when a company spends more time and money marketing an environmental achievement then it did actually doing it. Many times this is used as a way to focus on one environmental success while many failures are swept under the rug.

Afforestation – forest re-growth after damage or disturbance.

Agriculture – natural ecosystems that are replaced with plants and animals which support human population.

Albedo – incoming solar radiation that is reflected back into space; the more reflected into space the cooler the planet. Ice has a high albedo, soil a low albedo.

All Natural – a term not regulated by the FDA. That is to say a product can be deemed as “All Natural” with out having to certify their product as having natural properties or having to be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as containing natural products.

Alliance – the state of being allied or confederated. It also is defined as a connection based on kinship or marriage or common interest. An organization of people (or countries) involved in a pact or treaty.

Alternative Energy – energy derived from sources that do not use up natural resources or harm the environment.

Animal By-Products – are biodegradable wastes consisting of animal carcases, parts of animal carcases, products of animal origin which are not intended for human consumption, includes catering waste.

Anthropogenic – of or relating to the study of the origins and development of human beings.

Antimicrobial Preservative – A naturally or synthetically derived chemical additive put in or on the surface of products to prevent odors, stains and fungal growth.

Aquifer – soil layer in which all the spaces between particles are filled with water.

Arboreal – of or relating to or formed by trees, inhabiting or frequenting trees, resembling a tree in form and branching structure.

Atmosphere – A layer of molecules and other particles between outer space and the Earth. The atmosphere protects the Earth against harmful rays from the sun & space debris like meteors.

Association – a formal organization of people or groups of people, the act of consorting with or joining with others, the state of being connected together as in memory or imagination.

Benthos – a region including the bottom of the sea and the littoral zones, organisms (plants and animals) that live at or near the bottom of a sea.

Bioclimate – of or concerned with the relations of climate and living organisms.

Bio-fuel – A term given to harvesting energy from biodegradable plant material. Bio-fuels do not produce any more carbon dioxide than they consume, so they do not contribute to global warming.

Biodegradable – the ability to breakdown/decompose in nature within a reasonably short amount of time.

Biological Contaminants – Agents derived from living organisms or their products that can be ingested, inhaled or otherwise absorbed into the body animal or human which could be hazardous to ones health.

Biodiversity – the diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole).

Bio-mass – wood based materials, agricultural crops, landfill gas, animal and other types of organic waste when used as energy it is considered a renewable source of energy.

Biome – a major biotic community characterized by the dominant forms of plant life and the prevailing climate.

Biomimicry – the study of nature and its imitation of natures forms.

Bionomics – the branch of biology concerned with the relations between organisms and their environment.

Biopiracy – biological theft; illegal collection of indigenous plants by corporations who patent them for their own use.

Bio-products– are materials, chemicals and energy derived from renewable biological resources.

Bioremediation – the branch of biotechnology that uses biological process to overcome environmental problems. Also, the act of treating waste or pollutants by the use of microorganisms (as bacteria) that can break down the undesirable substances.

Biosphere – the regions of the surface and atmosphere of the Earth (or other planet) where living organisms exist.

Bog – wet spongy ground of decomposing vegetation; has poorer drainage than a swamp; soil is unfit for cultivation but can be cut and dried and used for fuel.

Boreal – relating to or marked by qualities associated with the north wind or comprising or throughout far northern regions.

Botany – all the plant life in a particular region or period; the branch of biology that studies plants.

Building Related Illness – A diagnosable symptom that can be identified with a cause attributed to a buildings airborne pollutants.

Calcareous – composed of or containing or resembling calcium carbonate or calcite or chalk.

Canebrake – a dense growth of cane (especially giant cane).

Canopy – a covering (usually of cloth) that serves as a roof to shelter an area from the weather, the transparent covering of an aircraft cockpit.

Carbon Cycle – The organic circulation of carbon from the atmosphere into organisms and back again.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)– A colorless odorless gas formed naturally by decomposition, combustion, breathing, et. which contributes to Global Warming.

Carbon Footprint– is defined as the total amount of green house gas emissions that an individual, group, product or event emits either directly or indirectly to the environment.

Carnivore – An animal that eats only meat.

Carson, Rachel – United States biologist remembered for her opposition to the use of pesticides that were hazardous to wildlife (1907-1964).

Certified Organic Cotton – is derived from organic agriculture. The cotton is grown without artificial pesticides or fertilizers. Conventional cotton farming ranks about fourth in the use of pesticides in the US. Several of the top pesticides used in non-organic cotton farming are EPA recognized carcinogens. It takes 1/3 of a pound of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers to make one organic T-shirt disregarding the use of any toxic dyes. A typical organic tee shirt is also about the same weight but without these harmful chemicals. Organic cotton is produced using conservation minded or “sustainable” approaches to crop production. Such practices help to retain and promote soil fertility and the natural recycling of soil resources.

Chaparral – Dense vegetation consisting of stunted trees or bushes.

Chlorofluorocarbon– A class of volatile, non-reactive, non-corrosive, non-flammable & easy liquefiable gases usually used in refrigeration & believed to be responsible for the deterioration of the ozone.

Climax – The highest point of anything conceived of as growing or developing or unfolding.

Closed-loop Recycling– The process of recycling in such a way that the components of the original product are reclaimed or utilized into similar products without the process of downcycling.

Colonize – Settle as a colony; of countries in the developing world, settle as colonists or establish a colony (in).

Community – A group living in a particular local area, a group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other.

Compost – A collection of biodegradable waste that is no longer used by people or which died on its own. Examples are banana peels, coffee grounds, or leaves & branches. When mixed together they form a substance rich in nutrients which many people use to fertilize their gardens.

Conservancy – a commission with jurisdiction over fisheries and navigation in a port or river, the official conservation of trees and soil and rivers etc.

Conservation – an occurrence of improvement by virtue of preventing loss or injury or other change, the preservation and careful management of the environment and of natural resources.

Conservationist – someone who works to protect the environment from destruction or pollution.

Consumption – To eat or take in (you consume food and water), or to use (people consumes energy when they watch television or drive a car).

Cosmopolitan – composed of people from or at home in many parts of the world; especially not provincial in attitudes or interests, growing or occurring in many parts of the world.

Cradle-to-Cradle – A term used for describing a product or material recycled into a similar or new product after the original items intended life.

Cradle-to-Grave – A term used to describe material or products that is disposed (landfill, incineration, etc. ) of at the end of its intended life.

Cycle – an interval during which a recurring sequence of events occurs.

Deforest – remove the trees from.

Desertification – the gradual transformation of habitable land into desert; is usually caused by climate change or by destructive use of the land

Design for the Environment (DfE) – A concept or philosophy applied to the design process that advocates the reduction of environmental and human health impacts through materials selection & design strategies.

Dirty Business – Stay away from companies who tout themselves as green when the service or product they offer is inherently bad for the environment.

Disafforest – remove the trees from.

Dispersion – spreading widely or driving off, the spatial or geographic property of being scattered about over a range, area, or volume.

Doe – mature female of mammals of which the male is called `buck’.

Dominance– the state that exists when one person or group has power over another, the organic phenomenon in which one of a pair of alleles present in a genotype is expressed in the phenotype and the other allele of the pair is not.

Dominant – exercising influence or control, (of genes) producing the same phenotype whether its allele is identical or dissimilar.

Downcycling – The process of recycling in such a way that new products are of lesser economic value. An example would be turning nylon face fiber into park benches.

Eco-fashion – is a general term describing organic clothing that has addressed the needs of the environment as well as socially responsible working conditions.

Ecology – the environment as it relates to living organisms, the branch of biology concerned with the relations between organisms and their environment.

Ecological Footprint – The resulting impacts on the environment based on the choices we make for example raw materials selection, transportation, etc.).

Ecosystem – The interaction of organisms from the natural community with one another and their environment to sustain one another.

Ecoterrorism – violence carried out to further the political or social objectives of the environmentalists.

Ecotourism – tourism to exotic or threatened ecosystems to observe wildlife or to help preserve nature.

Embodied Energy – is a combination of the energy required for the process to make a product and the molecular energy inherent in the product’s material content.

Emergent – occurring unexpectedly and requiring urgent action, coming into existence.

Emission – The release of any gas, particle or vapor into the environment.

Energy efficiency – Useful power output per electrical power consumed. is the ratio between the useful output of an energy conversion machine and the input, in energy terms. The useful output may be electric power, mechanical work, or heat. Energy conversion efficiency is not defined uniquely, but instead depends on the usefulness of the output.

Energy Star Home – about 20 to 30% more efficient than code.

Environment – can mean the area around you, or it sometimes just means nature. When we speak of protecting the environment, we usually mean we want to protect plants and animals or clean up the air and water.

Environmentalist – someone who works to protect the environment from destruction or pollution.

Environmental Cost – The monetary impact from the negative environmental effects resulting from the choices we make.

Environmental Management Systems (EMS) – series of activities to monitor and manage the environmental impacts of manufacturing activities.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – An independent executive agency of the federal government, established in 1970, responsible for the formulations & enforcement of regulations governing the release of pollutants, to protect publish health & the environment.

Environmentally Friendly – A generic statement often used to designate a product or process that has a reduced ecological footprint when compared to other products/processes. Environmentally Preferable. Products, services or systems that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products, services or systems that serve the same purpose.

Eutrophic– (ecology) of a lake or other body of water rich in nutrients and subject to eutrophication.

Eutrophication – excessive nutrients in a lake or other body of water, usually caused by runoff of nutrients (animal waste, fertilizers, sewage) from the land, which causes a dense growth of plant life; the decomposition of the plants depletes the supply of oxygen, leading to the death of animal life.

Fair Labor Practices-  are not necessarily restricted to agriculture but generally support fair wages and healthy working conditions.

Fair Trade Certification – “…guarantees consumers that strict economic, social and environmental criteria were met in the production and trade of an agricultural product.”(

F.D.A – Food and Drug Administration a segment of the Department of Health and Human Services. This segment accounts for approximately $.25 of every dollar you spent by American Consumers today. They require medicine and prescriptions are proven safe and effective. As for food they agree on the amounts of chemicals and pesticides that are safe for Americans to ingest in a single product.

Fen – low-lying wet land with grassy vegetation; usually is a transition zone between land and water.

Fieldwork – a temporary fortification built by troops in the field.

Fluorocarbon– Non-flammable, heat-stable hydrocarbon liquid or gas, in which some or all hydrogen atoms have been replaced by fluorine atoms. As with CFC’s, fluorocarbons, traditionally used as propellants (spray cans), are classified as ozone-depleting substances.

Flush – rinse, clean, or empty with a liquid, irrigate with water from a sluice.

Fly Ash – Fine, non-combustible particulate primarily resulting from the combustion of coal in furnaces and kilns. Often used as a filler material in concrete to displace virgin raw materials.

Foodchain – a community of organisms where each member is eaten in turn by another member.

Foodweb – a community of organisms where there are several interrelated food chains.

Fossil Fuel – Any petroleum based fuel (gasoline, natural gas, fuel, oil, etc).

Fuel Cell – A device that turns hydrogen into fuel. It is very efficient and clean, but is currently not cost effective for mass marketing.

FSC – Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. This label provides a credible link between responsible production and consumption of forest products, enabling consumers and businesses to make purchasing decisions that benefit people and the environment as well as providing ongoing business value.

Fungi– typically filamentous, eukaryotic, non-chlorophyllic microorganisms. Fungi grow on dead or dying organic matter & may also grow on some building materials where excess moisture is present. Fungi can cause pungent odors, unsightly stains, & premature biodeterioration of interior furnishings.

Gaia – goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology.

GEO – genetically engineered organism.

Geothermal Energy – Energy we get directly from the Earth, usually in the form of heat. Volcanoes are an excellent source of geothermal energy.

Global Warming – Also known as the Greenhouse Effect  most scientists believe global warming is happening right now. When too many greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane are trapped in the atmosphere, the temperature on the Earth rises causing the ice at the north and south poles to melt. This raises the water level in the oceans and different places on the earth slowly get hotter or colder. If it goes on long enough, global warming could change rainforest’s to deserts and dry areas to wet ones.

Global Warming Potential (GWP) – This is the impact of greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to the "greenhouse effect". Elevated concentrations of greenhouse gases contribute to global warming & increased climate variability. Also referred to as Climate change.

GMO– genetically modified organism.

Going Green – a lifestyle that consists of helping reduce that individual’s negative impact on the environment.

Green – concerned with or supporting or in conformity with the political principles of the Green Party, United States labor leader who was president of the American Federation of Labor from 1924 to 1952 and who led the struggle with the Congress of Industrial Organizations (1873-1952), an environmentalist who belongs to the Green Party.

Green Homes – the latest term to describe a home designed to be environmentally friendly, including energy and water efficiency, healthy and more.

Green House Gases – are in the Earths atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation. Some common green house gases are carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, water vapor and ozone.

Green House Effect – is a process of heating of the surface of a moon or planet due to a change in atmosphere that absorbs and/or emits infrared radiation.

Green Revolution – the introduction of pesticides and high-yield grains and better management during the 1960s and 1970s which greatly increased agricultural productivity.

Green Tag – A green tag or Renewable Energy Certificate (REC), represents the eenvironmental attributes created when electricity is generated using renewable sources instead of fossil fuels such as coal, oil & natural gas. REC’s can be sold separately form their associated electricity & enable customers to "green" the electricity they consume from their retail power supplier(s).

Guild – a formal association of people with similar interests.

Habitat – the type of environment in which an organism or group normally lives or occurs.

Halophile– archaebacteria requiring a salt-rich environment for growth and survival.

Heath– a low evergreen shrub of the family Ericaceae; has small bell-shaped pink or purple flowers, a tract of level wasteland; uncultivated land with sandy soil and scrubby vegetation.

Hemp – is the common name for plants of the entire genus Cannabis, although the term is often used to refer only to Cannabis strains cultivated for industrial (non-drug) use. Industrial hemp is produced in many countries around the world. Major producers include Canada, France, and China. While more hemp is exported to the United States than to any other country, the United States Government does not consistently distinguish between marijuana and the non-psychoactive Cannabis used for industrial and commercial purposes.

Hydric – having or characterized by excessive moisture.

Indicator – a number or ratio (a value on a scale of measurement) derived from a series of observed facts; can reveal relative changes as a function of time, a signal for attracting attention, (chemistry) a substance that changes color to indicate the presence of some ion or substance; can be used to indicate the completion of a chemical reaction or (in medicine) to test for a particular reaction.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) – Acceptable IAQ is air in which there are no known contaminants at harmful concentrations as determined by cognizant authorities & with which a substantial majority (80 percent or more) of the people exposed do not express dissatisfaction.

Industrial Ecology – An approach to the design of industrial products & processes that evaluates such activities through the dual perspective of product competitiveness & environmental interactions.

Interstitial – of or relating to interstices.

Intertidal – of or relating to the littoral area above the low-tide mark.

Intolerant – unwilling to tolerate difference of opinion.

It’s the Law Stupid – Many companies will advertise or brand their environmental achievements as voluntary or proactive. In reality, they have been forced to comply by mandated environmental regulations.

Lacustrine – of or relating to or living near lakes.

Lentic – of or relating to or living in still waters (as lakes or ponds)

Limnology – the scientific study of bodies of fresh water for their biological and physical and geological properties

Locavore – a concept of local investment and local economies to increase local production.

LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environment Design)– A series of building rating products developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide a standard for what constitutes a green building or  high performance building. The various LEED products are used as design guidelines & third-party certification tools, aiming ot improve occupant well-being, environmental performance & economic returns of buildings used to establish & innovative practices, standards & technologies. The collection of LEED products include LEED New Construction (NC) for newly constructed buildings, LEED Commercial Interiors (CI) for tenant build outs, LEED Existing Buildings (EB) for existing building operations & for re-certification of already certified buildings, & LEED Core & Shell (CS). An effort is also underway to develop LEED for Homes.

Life Cycle Assessment – A compilation & evaluation of the inputs, outputs & the potential environmental impacts of a product or system throughout its life cycle.

Litter– the offspring at one birth of a multiparous mammal or rubbish carelessly dropped or left about (especially in public places).

Littoral – of or relating to a coastal or shore region, the region of the shore of a lake or sea or ocean.

Lotic – of or relating to or living in actively moving water.

Low Impact Dyes – refers to dyes used the manufacture of goods that should have minimal impact on the environment. Sometimes the term non-toxic is used here as well.

Mallee– any of several low-growing Australian eucalypts.

Mangrove – a tropical tree or shrub bearing fruit that germinates while still on the tree and having numerous prop roots that eventually form an impenetrable mass and are important in land building.

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) – A compilation of information required under OSHA hazard communication standard, including a listing of hazardous chemicals, health & physical hazards, exposure limits & handling precautions.

Mesic – having or characterized by moderate or a well-balanced supply of moisture.

Mire– deep soft mud in water or slush, a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot.

Mobilize – make ready for action or use, cause to move around, or call to arms.

Muir, John – United States naturalist (born in England) who advocated the creation of national parks (1838-1914).

National Park – a tract of land declared by the national government to be public property.

National Trust – an organization concerned to preserve historic monuments and buildings and places of historical interest or natural beauty; founded in 1895 and supported by endowment and private subscription.

Natural Fibers – are “certified” organic fibers derived from organic agriculture such as cotton, bamboo and hemp.

Niche – (ecology) the status of an organism within its environment and community (affecting its survival as a species).

Nigrogen Cycle – the circulation of nitrogen; nitrates from the soil are absorbed by plants which are eaten by animals that die and decay returning the nitrogen back to the soil.

Nitrogen Fixation – the assimilation of atmospheric nitrogen by soil bacteria and its release for plant use on the death of the bacteria.

Nonrenewable Energy – Sources of energy that cannot be replaced in reasonable period of time. Fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, natural gas) are examples of nonrenewable energy sources.

Nuclear Winter – a long period of darkness and extreme cold that scientists predict would follow a full-scale nuclear war; a layer of dust and smoke in the atmosphere would cover the earth and block the rays of the sun; most living organisms would perish

Offsets – Greenhouse gas reduction activities undertaken to compensate for emissions elsewhere.

Oridiniation – logical or comprehensible arrangement of separate elements

Organic – a specific item displays the qualities that are to be considered free of pesticides, genetically modified, imitation, or synthetic properties that have been certified and are regulated by the FDA.

Organic Agriculture – Organic Agriculture is an ecological farming system that promotes natural chemical and biological cycles that improve soil fertility and maintains a balanced and productive farming system. Any products introduced to this system for fertility or pest protection are of natural composition. It eliminates the use of harmful synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, growth stimulants or antibiotics. These essential restrictions can reduce contamination or pollution to our air, water or food supply.

Organic Certification – is provided by various organizations. The most widely recognized standards are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) which is the basis for the statement “100% certified organic cotton” used by many green companies.

Overturn – cause to overturn from an upright or normal position or cause the downfall of; of rulers.

Ozone – a colorless gas (O3) soluble in alkalis and cold water; a strong oxidizing agent; can be produced by electric discharge in oxygen or by the action of ultraviolet radiation on oxygen in the stratosphere (where it acts as a screen for ultraviolet radiation).

Ozone Hole – an area of the ozone layer (near the poles) that is seasonally depleted of ozone.

Ozone Layer – a layer in the stratosphere (at approximately 20 miles) that contains a concentration of ozone sufficient to block most ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Ozonesphere – a layer in the stratosphere (at approximately 20 miles) that contains a concentration of ozone sufficient to block most ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Palaeoecology – the branch of ecology that studies ancient ecology.

Particulate – Fine solid particles of dust, spores, pollens, dander, skin flakes, mite allergens, cell debris, mold, mildew, mineral fibers, or solids escaping from combustion processes that are small enough to become suspended in the air, and in some cases small enough to be inhaled. Photovoltaic Cells. Solid-state devices (typically made from silicon) that directly convert sunlight to electricity.

Peat – partially carbonized vegetable matter saturated with water; can be used as a fuel when dried.

Pesticide – any biological agent or chemical substance, viral or bacterial, that is used to repel, prevent or kill a “pest”.

Photic – of or relating to or caused by light

Plant – (botany) a living organism lacking the power of locomotion, put or set (seeds, seedlings, or plants) into the ground.

Political Spin – This is the act of advertising, endorsing, or speaking about green commitments or programs while lobbying against pending or current environmental legislation.

Pollute – make impure.

Pollution – undesirable state of the natural environment being contaminated with harmful substances as a consequence of human activities, the act of contaminating or polluting; including (either intentionally or accidentally) unwanted substances or factors.

Post Consumer Waste– Post-consumer waste is a waste type produced by the end consumer of a material; that is, where the waste-producing use did not involve the production of another product. Usually, this waste is the garbage that individuals routinely discard, either in a waste receptacle or a dump, or by littering, incinerating, pouring down the drain, or washing into the gutter.

Post-Consumer Recycled Content – Material that has been recovered after its intended use as a consumer product. Examples include reclaimed carpet tiles (for new tile backing).

Post -Industrial Recycled Content – Material that has been recovered from the manufacturing waste steam before it has served its intended purpose. (example Nylon 6, 6 extrusion waste).

Preservationist – someone who advocates the preservation of historical sites or endangered species or natural areas.

Productivity – the quality of being productive or having the power to produce, (economics) the ratio of the quantity and quality of units produced to the labor per unit of time.

Pyrogenic – produced under conditions involving intense heat.

Recycling – The series of activities, including collection, separation, & processing, by which materials are recovered from the waste stream for use as raw materials in the manufacture of new products.

Recyclable – A designation for products or materials that are capable of being recovered form, or otherwise diverted from waste streams for recycling.

Recycled Content – Refers to the percentage of the total weight of recycled materials in a product.

Recycle – is the process of turning a previously used item into a new product in an effort to reduce waste and reduce green house gas emissions on producing a new product.

Red Tide – seawater that is discolored by large numbers of certain dinoflagellates that produce saxitoxin

Rehabilitate – restore to a state of good condition or operation.

Remediation – act of correcting an error or a fault or an evil.

Renewable – capable of being renewed; replaceable.

Renewable Energy – Energy derived from sources which are regenerative or recurring. Examples include wind energy, hydro, geothermal, or wave action.

Renewable Resources – A resource that can be replenished at a rate equal to, or greater than its rate of depletion. Examples of renewable resources include corn (for PLA products), trees, soy-based products and so on.

Repurposing– Allows a flooring product to be cleaned or refurbished & then reused in its current form, thereby extending its useful life, Interface currently repurposes carpet by offering it to nonprofit organizations.

Reserve – hold back or set aside, especially for future use or contingency, give or assign a resource to a particular person or cause.

Riparian – of or relating to or located on the banks of a river or stream.

Sagebrush – any of several North American composite subshrubs of the genera Artemis or Seriphidium.

Sanctuary – any of several North American composite subshrubs of the genera Artemis or Seriphidium.

Sere – (used especially of vegetation) having lost all moisture.

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) – A term used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and/or comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in particular building, but where no specific illness can be identified. Symptoms typically appear upon entering the building & disappear upon leaving the building in affected occupants. These occupants. These buildings are often defined as “problem buildings”.

Social Responsibility – is an ethical or ideological theory that an entity whether it is a government, corporation, organization or individual has a responsibility to society. This responsibility can be “negative”, meaning there is a responsibility to refrain from acting (resistance stance) or it can be “positive,” meaning there is a responsibility to act (proactive stance).

S.O.L.E. – sustainable, organic, local & ethical

Sustainable – is a theory that something has the capacity to withstand long periods of time continue to be productive overtime

Sustainability – is the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans it is the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which in turn depends on the well being of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources.

Sweatshop-free – describes the absence of manufacturing conditions currently existing in many countries, referred to as “sweatshops”. They are production facilities or factories where goods are produced cheaply by minimizing workers’ salaries, and increasing working hours. Proper environmental health standards are diminished, yet demands for high levels of productivity still remain. These sweatshops may thrive from corporations seeking to increase profits by subcontracting inexpensive labor

Upcycling – The process of recycling in such a way that the new products are of higher economic value. Example: using waste PET (plastic from soda bottles) to create Terratex panel fabric.

Volitile Organic Compounds– Compounds from many housekeeping, maintenance & building products made with organic chemicals. These compounds may be released from the products both in use and in storage. In sufficient quantities, VOC’s can cause irritation & some are carcinogenic *& are suspected of causing or exacerbating acute *& chronic diseases. The health effects of VOC’s at levels found typically in commercial indoor environments are still not completely known & continue to be a point of further study.

Waste-to-Energy – Burning of waste to generate steam, heat or electricity.