Greening Your Vocabulary – Confusing Terms Deciphered
By: Rachel Thomas, Eco Promotional Products, Inc.
The act of going green has caught on but our vocabulary has not. The recent years have brought a wave of companies, products and people “going green.” The informers of these groups throw words around such as “environmental stewardship,” “sustainability,” and “social compliance.” We hear these words almost every day but if we were asked to define them, could we? For a majority of people the answer would be no. Let’s go back and re-learn some of the words and terms that define the green world. Socially Compliant- a continuing process in which the involved parties keep on looking for better ways to protect the health, safety, and fundamental rights of their employees, and to protect and enhance the community and environment in which they operate (Businessdictionary). Eco-friendly- practices or products that have a small impact on the environment (Greeneco). Sustainable- long term durability that does not undermine social and environmental systems of support (Greeneco). Environmental Stewardship- a system under which farmers and land managers receive funding for implementing schemes to protect the environment, such as preventing soil erosion or protection wildlife (Agricultural Dictionary). PET (Polyethyleneterephthalate) – a resin of the polyester family used for beverage, food and other liquid containers (Greeneco). Federal Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified- International organization to promote responsible management of the world’s forests (Greeneco). Corporate Social Responsibility- organizations take society’s interest into account by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, communities, and of course the environment in everything that they do (Greeneco). Fossil Fuels- and petroleum based fuel: oil, coal, oil shale, natural gas, gasoline, etc. (Greenresidential). Biodegradable- capable of decomposing in nature within a reasonably short period of time (Greeneco). Carbon Footprint- the total amount of greenhouse gases produced directly and indirectly to support human activities, an individual’s would be the sum of carbon dioxide emissions you create every day (Greeneco). Carbon Offset- new method by which carbon emissions produced by one process or practice can be offset by reducing carbon emissions produced by another process or practice (Greeneco). Proposition 65 Compliant- Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, protects California citizens and the State’s drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and informs citizens about exposures to such chemicals (ochealth). Greenhouse Effect- warming of the earth’s atmosphere due to pollution by gases. It is now feared that humans are increasing the levels of pollution and causing climate changes and melting polar icecaps (Greeneco). Energy Efficient- products or systems that use less energy to perform as well or better than the standard products (Greeneco). Post-consumer Recycled Content- The total amount of greenhouse gases produced directly and indirectly to support human activities (Greenresidential).