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Green Glossary

Daylighting
  The use of natural light to supplement or replace artificial lighting.
   
Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI)
  The first global indexes to track the financial performance of sustainability driven companies
   
Ecological Footprint
  The area of land and water needed to produce the resources to entirely sustain a human population and absorb its waste products with prevailing technology. The concept of an ecological footprint is used as a resource management and community-planning tool.
   
Emissions Cap
  A limit placed on companies regarding the amount of greenhouse gases it can emit.
   
Emission
  Anthropogenic releases of gases to the atmosphere. In the context of global climate change, they consist of radioactively important greenhouse gases.
   
Energy audit
  A program carried out by a utility company in which an auditor inspects a home and suggests ways energy can be saved.
   
Energy Efficiency
  Refers to products or systems using less energy to do the same or better job than conventional products or systems. Energy efficiency saves energy, saves money on utility bills, and helps protect the environment by reducing the demand for electricity.
   
Fair Trade
  An international trading partnership that seeks to help marginalized producers and workers achieve financial self-sufficiency by establishing direct lines of trade between producers and consumers, guaranteeing producers fair prices for goods, restricting exploitative labor processes, and favoring environmentally-sustainable production processes through a system of labeling products as “fair trade”
   
Footprint
  Land area taken up by a building.
   
Fossil Fuels
  Fossil fuels are the nation’s principal source of electricity. The popularity of these fuels is largely due to their low costs. Fossil fuels come in three major forms - coal, oil, and natural gas. Because fossil fuels are a finite resource and cannot be replenished once they are extracted and burned, they are not considered renewable.
   
Fuel Cell
  A technology that uses an electrochemical process to convert energy into electrical power. Often powered by natural gas, fuel cell power is cleaner than grid-connected power sources. In addition, hot water is produced as a by-product.
   
Global Climate Change
  Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). Climate change may result from:

  • Natural factors, such as changes in the sun’s intensity or slow changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun
  • Natural processes within the climate system (e.g. changes in ocean circulation)
  • Human activities that change the atmosphere’s composition (e.g. through burning fossil fuels) and the land surface (e.g. deforestation, reforestation, urbanization, desertification, etc.)
   
Green
  A term that is widely used to describe a building and site that is designed in an environmentally sensitive manner, i.e. with minimal impact to the environment.
   
Green Design
  A design, usually architectural, which conforms to environmentally sound principles of building, material and energy use. A green building, for example, might make use of solar panels, skylights, and recycled building materials.
   
Greenwashing
  The process by which a company publicly and misleadingly declares itself to be environmentally-friendly but internally participates in environmentally unfriendly practices.
   
Global Warming
 
The average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to changes in global climate patterns. Global warming can occur from a variety of causes, both natural and human induced. In common usage, global warming often refers to the warming that can occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.
   
Global Warming
  TThe average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to changes in global climate patterns. Global warming can occur from a variety of causes, both natural and human induced. In common usage, global warming often refers to the warming that can occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.
   
Green Wedding
  Holding your wedding with the least environmental impact possible.
   
Greenhouse Effect
  The process that raises the temperature of air in the lower atmosphere due to heat trapped by greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and ozone.
   
Greenhouse Gases (GHG)
  Gases in the Earth’s atmosphere that produce the greenhouse effect. Changes in the concentration of certain greenhouse gases, due to human activity such as fossil fuel burning, increase the risk of global climate change. Greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, halogenated fluorocarbons, ozone, perfluorinated carbons, and hydrofluorocarbons.
   
Green Power
  Renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low impact hydro generate green power.
   
   
 
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