Ever heard of the term “net zero”? How about “renewable energy”? As the world moves toward a more sustainable future, you’re likely to hear these phrases a lot more often.
Here’s a guide to some common terms to help you boost your sustainability vocabulary in no time!
Biodiversity: Biodiversity measures the variety of living things found in a particular area or environment. This includes different species of plants, animals, bacteria, and other organisms.
Biodiversity plays an important role in how ecosystems are able to thrive and adapt over time.
Carbon footprint: Your carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas produced and released into the atmosphere from your everyday activities. You can shrink your carbon footprint by limiting your use of carbon-emitting sources. For example, walking or carpooling instead of driving, or using less electricity, can all reduce your carbon footprint.
Climate change: Climate change is the change in temperatures and weather patterns in a particular area over a long period of time. Sometimes, climate change can occur naturally. However, human activities can ramp up these changes, causing them to become more frequent and intense.
Fair trade: Fair trade is a concept that promotes the idea that trade between suppliers and consumers should be done in a fair and ethical way. This includes making sure workers’ rights are protected through safe working conditions, secure and fair wages, and other practices.
Greenhouse gases (GHGs): Greenhouse gases trap in heat from the atmosphere and warm the planet. These include carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, among others. Most greenhouse gases occur naturally. Synthetic greenhouse gases, on the other hand, are man-made and contribute more heavily to global warming.
Greenwashing: Coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986, greenwashing occurs when a company, organization or product claims to be more environmentally-friendly than it actually is. Greenwashing is usually done unintentionally but, if spotted, it can seriously damage the company’s brand and reputation.
Net zero: Net zero refers to a future point in time where there is a balance between the amount of greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere and the amount that is taken out of the atmosphere.
Renewable energy: Renewable energy is energy that is collected from resources that are able to replenish themselves over time. Renewable energy sources include sunlight, wind, rain, waves, and geothermal heat (i.e. heat produced in the Earth).
Feel free to refer back to this article to brush up on your sustainability knowledge or share with a friend, and look out for more helpful tips and resources throughout the month!
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