Going Green, Eco Friendly Jargon and Terminology

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Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of settling in for a chat with a long-lost friend and been lost in the first five words out of their mouth?  They are likely suffering from acronymitis, or an inflammation of the abbreviation gland.  Signs of infection include rapid-fire rattling off of industry (or even office) specific acronyms and sensory numbness that impedes their ability to recognize the dazed look in the eyes of their audience.

Sadly, there is little that can be done to cure acronymitis, but its effects can be mitigated by immersion into the culture.  Carry a note pad and pen to jot down every cryptic term and keep your blackberry close at hand to search the net for clarification at the first opportunity.

The earthy world of green living has unfortunately succumbed to the condition and those testing the waters may well become mired in confusion before they ever have a chance to select their first EnergyStar™ appliance.

ACT:  Association for Contract Textiles: A non-profit professional group of companies that strive to source and promote the use of sustainable natural textiles for domestic use.

Authentic:  Guarantees that food was grown and produced within 50 miles of its end retail point.  The term “organic” has been diluted in recent years primarily through the successful lobbying efforts of major corporations.  Recognizing that consumers were riding the organic wave to new shores, corporate farmers and manufacturers succeeded in watering down the term to include their products, much to the confusion of the consumer.

Biofuel:  Alternative combustion engine fuels derived from grain production or recycling of used vegetable oil.  Combustion engines are easily modified to run on biofuel, but may not meet emission standards in certain states.

Carbon Neutral: Any entity or person who manages resources to eliminate carbon production.  This can include offsetting the emissions from activities in one location by green restoration or enhancement of others.  Akin to paving one paradise and planting another in the next town.

Certified Organic: Means that the producer has paid copious amounts of money and submitted their materials to rigorous testing to meet increasingly limiting governmental restrictions.  Small producers almost certainly cannot afford the high cost of certification, so sell their products under the less restrictive “authentic” or “non-certified organic” label.

Fenestration:  The energy efficiency of windows.  Considerations include square footage of windows in relation to structural surfaces, thickness of glass, gas barrier and tinting.

GREEN:  GrassRoots Environmental Effectiveness Network:  Nationwide group devoted to supporting activists committed to protecting wildlife and the environment.

Green Business: Any business that employs eco-friendly processes to reduce its carbon footprint.  Measures include alternative power sourcing, paper reduction, recycling, use of recycled materials, incorporating water and power saving devices, and processing and reusing gray water.

Green Collar: No, not Mr. Green Jeans, but a rapidly growing workforce devoted to sustainable agriculture and organic or authentic farming.

Green Pricing: For a slightly higher cost or periodic upcharge consumers can choose to have their power supplied by green power producers, such as wind, solar and water driven energy suppliers.

Net Metering: Allows a home’s utility energy meter to cycle in reverse when the home’s energy consumption is less than the amount purchased by installed green energy devices, such as solar or wind generators.  In these cases the energy stream flows in reverse and the home unit supplies additional energy to the utility’s power grid.

Phantom Power: Trickle power drawn by “sleeping” devices such as computers, ovens, telephones and entertainment equipment.

Related posts:

  1. Eco-Friendly and Renewable Energy Primer
  2. Easy Ways to Renewable Energy
  3. Top Ten Reasons to Choose an Electric Hybrid Over a Natural Gas Powered Vehicle
  4. Make Your Computer Use Earth Friendly
  5. Wind Turbines as Alternative Sources of Energy
  6. Purchasing Green Electricity

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