Do You Speak Green?

Did you know?


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moneygreen31As children, Kermit the Frog sang to us all that “it’s not easy being green.” Well, it’s easier if you can speak the lingo. Here are a few terms worth knowing:

Carbon footprint: A measure of the impact human ­activities have on the environment, as calculated by the amount of greenhouse gases ­produced. Your personal footprint is likely to be dominated by transportation.

Carbon offset: Credits purchased by individuals and companies to offset their ­contributions to global warming. The market for carbon offsets is estimated to be $100 million annually and growing fast.

Fair trade: Signifies that goods meet certain standards related to social and environmental considerations, such as fair payment for producers.

Gray water: Accounting for 50% to 80% of ­residential waste water, it is produced by washing dishes, laundry, and ­showering. Gray water can be used for landscape ­irrigation and other uses, although regulations vary by jurisdiction.

Green-collar job: A popular term in this presidential election cycle, it describes a position that involves products or services relating to clean energy or environmental concerns more broadly.

Greenhouse gases: A combination of water vapor, ­carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone that all ­contribute to global warming. These gases come from both human activity and natural sources.

LEED standards: An acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design?a set of national standards for green building and construction created by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED Certification ensures that a building is environmentally safe and responsible.

LOHAS: An acronym for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability that refers to a segment of consumers focused on healthy lifestyles, the environment, and sustainable ­living. It’s a market segment estimated to be worth ­approximately $209 billion in annual sales.

Organic: This term refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. This includes how they are ­produced, distributed, and sold e.g., without pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

Sustainability: Describes the ability to meet present needs without impairing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. A sustainable process can be ­carried out repeatedly without negative environmental ­effects.