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Green Living Certification
Chapter 8 - Glossary
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8.1 Glossary... Continued

Environment - The external factors that affect a community or organism and other atmospheric conditions. Environment occurs naturally, but can be expedited by practices like road, building, deforestation and farming.

Fossil Fuels - Petroleum, oil, coal and natural gas products (along with some other products) are called fossil fuels. The term is used because the products are made of carbon-rich, fossilized animal and plant remains.

Global Warming - This refers to the natural warming that occurs in the atmosphere (as well as natural cooling). These days, this term generally refers to the gradual increase in the Earth's temperature from the gasses that have accumulated and are trapped in the Earth's atmosphere.

Graywater - The water that is saved from sinks, baths and showers for use in watering indoor plants and irrigating gardens. Graywater is not suitable for drinking or cooking, however.

Greenhouse Effect - The gentle warming of the Earth's atmosphere that is caused by certain gasses in the air - carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor). The Greenhouse Effect is a naturally occurring phenomenon, and is what's responsible for maintaining a perfect balance of temperatures that makes Earth habitable for humans. The increased concentrations of the gasses (through human causes) have substantially increased the Earth's temperature and are what's referred to as "enhanced Greenhouse Effect".

Kyoto Protocol - The international effort - created by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - to encourage countries around the world to reduce their carbon emissions over a period of several years.

Methane - A gas that's emitted from landfills and can be harmful to humans and to the atmosphere.

Organic - Food that is grown without pesticides and usually is certified by a local governing agency, but not always. Buying organic, locally grown produce reduces the amount of trucks hauling produce long distances and reduces the amount of pesticide residue found in our waters.

Pollution - The contamination, due to the activity by humans, of the natural ecosystem.

Recycling - The process of turning products into something new, of comparable value and quality. If something is recycled into a product that's of lesser quality and value, the process is referred to as downcycling.

Renewable Energy - Energy derived from sources that are not depleted when used, therefore their use causes little environmental impact. Examples are wind power, hydroelectric energy and solar energy.

Solid waste - Products disposed of in landfills, or that are composed or incinerated.

Wastewater - Water that is contaminated and sent to a wastewater treatment facility. The water is treated before being returned to the applicable water system.


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