a better. glossary
  • Biodegradable - Something that is able to be broken down organically by the action of living things, such as microorganisms. 

  • Carbon Dioxide – Also known as CO2; a naturally occurring greenhouse gas in our atmosphere. When we burn fossil fuels, such as gasoline, we increase the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere leading to climate change.

  • Carbon Footprint– The amount of impact one has on the environment. This is measured in terms of how much carbon dioxide is produced through greenhouse gas usage. The lower the carbon footprint, the better for the environment.

  • Carbon Neutral – By not producing carbon emissions through fossil fuel use or offsetting the amount of CO2 produced, a company or individual is able to become carbon neutral.

  • Carbon Tax – A fee put on companies for the use of burning fossil fuels. The goal of this tax is to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and incentivize these businesses to switch to clean energy options.

  • Climate Change – The long-term change in the earth's climate. This change is being accelerated due to an increase in the average atmospheric temperature.

  • Composting – The natural process of organic material decomposition. Organic materials such as food scraps are easy to compost and results in a mineral rich byproduct ideal for gardening and farming as a soil conditioner, mulch, resurfacing material, or landfill cover. 

  • Green Washing- The process of conveying providing misleading information about how a company's products are more environmentally-friendly. Greenwashing is used to deceive consumers into believing that a company's products are environmentally friendly.

  • Earth Day - Created on April 22, 1970 to spark awareness and appreciation for Earth's environment. 

  • Fossil Fuels – Such as coal, oil, and natural gas are decayed fossils. The burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect and climate change. 

  • Global Warming – An increase in the average temperature of the earth, attributed to the burning of fossil fuels.

  • Greenhouse Effect - Greenhouse gases formed from the burning of fossil fuels trap heat in earth's atmosphere resulting in the heating of earth's surface temperature. 

  • Non-Renewable Resources - Finite resources, that have economic value, which cannot be readily replaced by natural means at a quick enough pace to keep up with human consumption. A popular example of this would be fossil fuels.

  • Offsetting – Reducing carbon emissions by ‘offsetting’ the use of the resource. An example is taking a flight and in order to offset that consumption you pay a company to plant trees to equal the amount of carbon used in the duration of the flight.

  • Organic – Growing produce and crops without using chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides. 

  • Ozone Layer – An atmospheric layer about 10 to 30 miles above sea level which blocks most solar ultraviolet radiation from entry into the lower atmosphere.

  • Perceived Obsolescence - When an object may continue to be functional, but it is no longer perceived to be stylish or is deemed outdated, so it is rendered obsolete by perception, rather than by function. The fashion industry thrives on this perception. 

  • Planned Obsolescence – When a company designs a product to no longer work after an undefined amount of time in order to have the customer buy a new product.

  • Recycled- Converting waste materials into new materials and objects.

  • Renewable Resources – Resources that are able to sustain our planet such as wind and solar that produce energy indefinitely without being used up.

  • rPET/rePET/rePETE- "PET" stands for Polyethylene terephthalate. This is the most common plastic resin used in production today. Most plastic containers are made from PET. The "r" stands for "recycled" Recycling PET gives plastic containers, such as water bottles, a second life!

  • Sustainable – The ability for a resource to exist continuously without depleting or causing environmental damage.

  • Upcycled- To reuse or re-purpose an item in a way that brings higher value to the item. 

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