This term doesn’t refer to all the spam filling your email box, though those messages do waste plenty of time. E-waste is actually the millions of tons of electronic products, computers, cell phones, and the like that enter the waste stream worldwide each year. As newer, better, cooler gadgets come on the market, the piles of e-waste grow ever higher. Aside from their contribution to landfills, many electronic devices contain hazardous materials, such as mercury; many also contain valuable, reusable materials that can be recycled. There are some simple ways to limit e-waste: Buy quality products that can be upgraded instead of replaced; donate old equipment (to a school for instance); and seek out recycling programs when you’re ready to dispose of an item. Also called electronic waste.Search the Web for E-Waste
The amount that the earth's revolution deviates from a circular path; the variation of an ellipse from a circle, where a circle has an eccentricity of 0.Search the Web for Eccentricity
Eco-anxiety is a chronic concern over environmental issues. This is not recognized as an official mental disease or dis-order. Rather it is a 'label' given to being overly concerned to the environment and a general feeling of helplessness in how to 'fix' it.
Being concerned about the environment is a good thing; in order to overcome any concerns you may have, we suggest
The end result should be a building which is good for the environment and cheap to live in.
Although, with the increased focus on being green in building, quite often regular architects either have direct 'eco' experience or have access to experts or resources to assist them - so do not select on the basis of an architect being eco alone.
Eco Architecture refers to designing buildings with a strong green and environmental element to them; e.g sustainable and minimizing the environmental impact of the final design.
Note: This does not necessarily mean existing buildings cannot be made more 'eco' rather this is focused on taking a new building and designing it from the ground up to be more eco friendly. When building it pays to consider the benefits of reusing an existing structure over knocking down and replacing it.
Being an informed purchaser. Knowing or having an understanding of what effect what you are doing, buying or using has on the environment.
This refers to a product or service having minimal impact on the environment in its provision. Unfortunately how 'minimal' is determined is somewhat open to interpretation and often depends upon context. This is also a phase that is often hijacked as part of a green washing campaign; so double check any claims.Search the Web for Eco Friendly
A very fuzzy 'Eco Marketing' term used to represent the fusion of many disciplines (including education, training, experience, materials availability, and eco inventions); on the premise that we need to tightly merge those disciplines to solely focus on 'improving the environment' in light of climate change. Often used to contrast against more loosely coupled business processes and distinct disciplines as being more 'green'; when often the real motivator is for the Eco Fusion advocate to 'control' more of the purchasing and business process for direct profit; in essence a form of ecofraud.Search the Web for Eco Fusion
Mud stencils that create messages made of natural plants such as moss, intended for art and social justice, not advertisement.Search the Web for Eco Graffiti
This is when a business deliberately markets itself as being 'eco' above and beyond the core functions or services of the business; when in actuality the business is not eco at all. This form of ecofraud is done to firstly pray on peoples tendency to assume anything eco is good; then secondly to utilise people's tendency not to question anything eco to sell on its core functions or services easily to eco minded people.
As we always recommend, make sure you have the real facts at hand (look on this site and use our search engine) and always shop around and do not over prefer the 'eco businesses' - quite a few businesses now are eco minded without feeling the need to promote it.Search the Web for Eco Marketing
Travel that entails destinations where natural and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. Typically including environmental awareness aspects of the locale.Search the Web for Eco Tourism
An Eco Village is usually a planned development of a set of properties which have a combined low environmental impact. Either implemented by a developer or by a set of individuals. The resultant properties can range from being very traditional to totally unique depending on planning requirements and available resources.Search the Web for Eco Village
A person actively involved in preventing damage to the environmentSearch the Web for Eco Warrior
An eco-architect is someone in the building design field (architecture) who either has specific training in designing eco-friendly houses, or equivalent accumulative knowledge.
This used to be quite a specialist field, as the methods and techniques employed were only understood by a minority of architects and designers; although now the ability to create eco-friendly houses can be enacted often by a regular architect, designer or drafts person using either specific software applications or following well understood principals of eco-friendly design (such as passive solar). Also the increased focus by local goverments through planning law on green building has made it almost universal that all architects or designers have had some experience with eco-friendly design.
An evaluation of your home or workplace with the aim of cutting your energy and water usage.Search the Web for Eco-assessment
An ethically and organically made bag for use instead of plastic carrier bags.Search the Web for Eco-bag
A bus which uses a combination of diesel and electric power sources.Search the Web for Eco-Bus
A product or good that is both eco-friendly and hip.Search the Web for Eco-chic
A textile product using PET (Recyclable plastic bottles) and processed to create fibres to be knitted or woven into the fabric.Search the Web for Eco-Spun
having a serious concern for environmental issues: ecocentric management.Search the Web for Ecocentric
Ecodesign is an approach to design of a product with special consideration for the environmental impacts of the product during its whole life cycle. In a life cycle assessment the life cycle of a product is usually divided into procurement, manufacture, use and disposal.Search the Web for Ecodesign
Term introduced (“ecofeminisme”) by Francois d’Eaubonne in the 1974 text Le Feminisme ou la Mort. Dissatisfied with ecological analyses that leave patriarchy out of account, ecofeminists out parallels between how men in the West mistreat women and how they mistreat the Earth: in both cases a relationship of power, control, a will to dominate, and a pervasive fear of of the fact of interdependency. A twist on this is the patriarchal habit of objectifying women while feminizing the environment; women are then seen as less mature or human because "closer to nature."Search the Web for Ecofeminism
This term is associated with a business/group or individual who engages in or who presents themselves as being a subscriber to sound science based eco and environmental principals; when in fact they are either:
a) solely being 'Eco' for personal or monetary gain, with little real regard for any eco or environmental principals or,
b) totally misrepresenting, misapplying or distorting sound scientific based eco and environmental principals to add weight to an argument or issue.
The first case is usually very deliberate in intent; whereas with the second case, a person or group can be 'duped' into believing and then promoting an 'eco fact' - when in fact it may have little empirical or scientific basis when the bigger picture (either in time or space) is considered.
This in itself is nothing new, misquoted and misunderstood information abounds in everyday life; but what is concerning is the degree of lack of question and real knowledge share that often occurs when people are confronted with an 'Eco fact'; please demand to be informed. Remember: a decision based on ecofraud info could well be doing longer term harm to our Environment.Search the Web for Ecofraud
Environmentally friendly (eco-friendly and nature friendly) are synonyms used to refer to goods and services considered to inflict minimal harm on the environment.
To make consumers aware, environmentally friendly goods and services are often marked with eco-labels. But because there is no single international standard for this concept, the International Organization for Standardization considers such labels too vague to be meaningful.
An Ecohome is a house which has been designed from the ground up to be environmentally friendly whilst at the same time energy efficient.
Usually this requires a custom build (which can be expensive); although with some careful thinking it is possible to make an existing property more eco friendly whilst preserving the embedded energy incurred when it was built. Too often existing properties are demolished that could have been made 'good' with a bit thought.
A seal of approval (or certification) of a product, process or service
complying with a particular set of agreed environmental criteria
usually awarded by an impartial third party (certification company).
The ecological dimension describes the relationship between people and the environment and the effect that they have on each other in turn.Search the Web for Ecological Dimension
The effect that a man-caused or natural activity has on living organisms and their non-living (abiotic) environment.Search the Web for Ecological Impact
This is the gradual and orderly process of change in an ecosystem brought about by the progressive replacement of one community by another until a stable climax is established.Search the Web for Ecological Succession
Capacity of ecosystems to maintain their essential functions and processes, and retain their biodiversity in full measure over the long-term.
Essentially it refers to the ability of an ecological system to 'keep running' over long time scales, such as centuries or longer.
ESD is where development is undertaken in such a way that the needs of the present at met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In effect the whole development is looked at to assess and 'balance' the impact of the development on the ecological processes which we in turn all depend upon now and in the future.Search the Web for Ecologically Sustainable Development
A scientist who studies organisms and their environment.Search the Web for Ecologist
Ecology is the scientific study of the distribution and abundance of life and the interactions between organisms and their natural environment.Search the Web for Ecology
Chemicals used to control pests and to defoliate cash crops such as cotton.Search the Web for Economic Poisons
The portion of the technical potential for GHG emissions reductions or energy-efficiency improvements that could be achieved cost-effectively in the absence of market barriers. The achievement of the economic potential requires additional policies and measures to break down market barriers.Search the Web for Economic Potential
The "bio-bubble" that contains life on earth, in surface waters, and in the air.Search the Web for Ecosphere
An ecosystem is a natural unit consisting of all plants, animals and micro-organisms in an area functioning together with all the non-living physical factors of the environment.
Note: Just be clear, an ecosystem by definition does include 'us' and what we do, we all inhabit the same set of systems. Therefore be careful of ecosystem analysis's done without consideration of what impact (both in the good and bad sense) humans have made. There are very few ecosystems that we do not engage with over the longer term.Search the Web for Ecosystem
Eco-terrorism, also called ecoterrorism or green terrorism, is terrorism committed in support of ecological, environmental, or animal rights causes. The word is a neologism and its application is contested.
See Eco Tourism.Search the Web for Ecotourism
Being poisonous or harmful to plants or animals in some degree.Search the Web for Ecotoxicity
A correction factor, dependent on the radiational characteristics of the Earth-atmosphere system, that permits application of black body radiation laws to the Earth-atmosphere systemSearch the Web for Effective Emissivity
The amount of energy service or useful energy delivered per unit of energy input. Often used in reference to lighting systems, where the visible light output of a luminary is relative to power input; expressed in lumens per Watt; the higher the efficacy value, the higher the energy efficiency.
A warming of the surface waters of the eastem equatorial Pacific that occurs at irregular intervals of 2-7 years, usually lasting 1-2 years. Along the west coast of South America, southerly winds promote the upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water that sustains large fish populations, that sustain abundant sea birds, whose droppings support the fertilizer industry Near the end of each calendar year; a warm current of nutrient-poor tropical water replaces the cold, nutrient-rich surface water Because this condition often occurs around Christmas, it was named El Niho (Spanish for boy child, referring to the Christ child). In most years the warming lasts only a few weeks or a month, after which the weather patterns return to normal and fishing improves. However; when El Nino conditions last for many months, more extensive ocean warming occurs and economic results can be disastrous. El Nino has been linked to wetter; colder winters in the United States; drier; hotter summers in South America and Europe; and drought in Africa.Search the Web for El Nino
See definition of e-waste.Search the Web for Electronic Waste
All the energy used to grow, extract and manufacture a product including the amount of energy needed to transport it to the job site and complete the installation.Search the Web for Embodied Energy
A forest's upper layer, 200 feet above the forest floor, produced by the tallest trees, often with trunks that measure up to 16 feet around. Most of these trees are broad-leaved, hardwood evergreens. It is very sunny at the top and only the strongest and tallest plants reach this level.Search the Web for Emergent Layer
A non-transferable or trade-able allocation of entitlements by a government to an individual firm to emit a specific amount of a substance.Search the Web for Emission Permit
The portion or share of total allowable emissions assigned to a country or group of countries within a framework of maximum total emissions and mandatory allocations of resources or assessments.Search the Web for Emission Quota
The release of a substance (usually a gas when referring to the subject of climate change) into the atmosphere.Search the Web for Emissions
A limit placed on companies regarding the amount of greenhouse gases (or other polutants) it can emit.Search the Web for Emissions Cap
This is a concept often used by policymakers in reference to the problem that emissions abatement achieved in one location may be offset by increased emissions in unregulated locations. Such leakage can arise, for example, in the short term as emissions abaters reduce energy demand or timber supply, influencing world prices for these commodities and increasing the quantity emitted elsewhere; and it can arise in the longer term, for example, as industries relocate to avoid controls.Search the Web for Emissions Leakage
This is an economic incentive-based alternative to command-and-control regulation. In an emissions trading program, sources of a particular pollutant (most often an air pollutant) are given permits to release a specified number of tons of the pollutant. The government issues only a limited number of permits consistent with the desired level of emissions. The owners of the permits may keep them and release the pollutants, or reduce their emissions and sell the permits. The fact that the permits have value as an item to be sold or traded gives the owner an incentive to reduce their emissions.Search the Web for Emissions Trading
Emissions trading or cap and trade is usually a government-mandated, market-based approach to controlling pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants.
The ratio of the radiation emitted by a surface to the radiation emitted by a blackbody at the same temperature.Search the Web for Emissivity
The rate at which a black body radiates energy across all wave-lengths.Search the Web for Emittance
Describes a species threatened with immediate extinction throughout all or most of its range owing to the actions of people.Search the Web for Endangered
A survey that shows how much energy used in a home, which helps find ways to use less energy.Search the Web for Energy Audit
Crops grown specifically for their fuel value. These include food crops such as corn and sugarcane and nonfood crops such as poplar trees and switch-grass.Search the Web for Energy Crops
Energy Efficiency is when you use less energy to accomplish the same task, for example heating your home or washing clothes. Using less energy by being more efficient means less air pollution and lower costs.
To save energy in your home, you can use weather stripping, solar water heating, passive solar or compact fluorescent light bulbs. Also when shopping for household appliances, look for the Energy Star to find appliances that use less energy and lower your electricity costs.
You can also reduce your heating and cooling costs by installing better insulation.
Electrical devices or appliances that perform their task, and use less electricity than lower-efficient devices. Electrical inefficiency in many devices is directly related to the heat they produce. For example, energy efficient light bulbs use most of the incoming electrical energy to produce light, not heat.Search the Web for Energy Efficient Appliances
This refers to the amount of time required for a solar panel to generate the amount of energy it took to manufacture it. Modern PV panels can have an energy payback of 1 to 3 years depending on where they are installed; over a 30+ year life span, a PV system could return 10 to 30 times the energy that went into making it.Search the Web for Energy Payback
Where installing energy-efficient appliances leads to an increase in energy use; because being energy-efficient makes energy cheaper, or makes consumers feel less guilty about using energy.Search the Web for Energy Rebound
This is a term used to describe a variety of issues from the economic cost of oil supply disruptions to the cost of military expenditures to secure international trade.Search the Web for Energy Security
The mixing of environmental air into a preexisting air current or cloud so that the environmental air becomes part of the current or cloud.Search the Web for Entrainment
A search for moral values and ethical principles in human relations with the natural world.Search the Web for Environmental Ethics
Where a substance ends up after it is released into the environment. Environmental fate depends on many factors, including transport (e.g., wind, runoff) and transformation processes (e.g., degradation).Search the Web for Environmental Fate
Any change to the environment whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from human activity, industry or natural disasters.Search the Web for Environmental Impact
A environmental management system (EMS) is a standard system of business operation that considers all aspects of sustainable business in the day to day running of a business, such as ISO 14001.
Racial discrimination takes many insidious forms. This term refers to a situation in which industrial operations, environmental policymaking, and the enforcement (or lack of enforcement) of environmental laws unfairly impact a particular race of people, either intentionally or unintentionally. Examples include the locating of hazardous waste landfills in minority communities, and the exclusion of minorities in environmental policy-making leadership.Search the Web for Environmental Racism
Products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on the environment.Search the Web for Environmentally Preferable
Plants that emerge and bloom during one season, then die back for the remainder of the year. Many spring ephemerals bloom in woodlands, including trillium and ladyslipper.Search the Web for Ephemerals
The wearing away of soil, rock, and sediments, etc. by the action of wind, rain, and other weather-related elements.Search the Web for Erosion
To spend the summer in a sleeplike condition of partial or total inactivity.Search the Web for Estivate
Ethical investment refers to investment which takes into account all the effects of the investment, both positive and negative to people, the environment and quality of life in general. Such investment aim to therefore be 'ethical' in how they invest, as opposed to other forms of investment by implication which are not ethical.
Note: An ethical investment does not provide a greater power to grow wealth, rather it is a choice taken by the investor in what they are willing to investment in, and hence it is a marketing exercise - the risk and benefits mix is not considered as to whether an investment is 'ethical'.
Shallow, murky bodies of water that have excessive concentrations of plant nutrients causing excessive algal production.Search the Web for Eutrophic Lake
Enrichment of water, which causes excessive growth of aquatic plants and increasing activity of anaerobic microrganisms. As a result the oxygen levels in the water quickly decline and the water chokes, making life impossible for aerobic water organisms.Search the Web for Eutrophication
An evacuated tube is most often encountered in solar hot water heating systems. This is where a glass tube is used, with a good heat conductor placed in the middle of it. All the air is removed from the tube, so that when the Sun light hits the heat conductor no heat is then lost out to the tube itself. This way the maximum amount of heat is caught and sent up the heat conductor to then heat the water passing over at the top of the tube.
The other advantage with this approach is that the tube will be placed to be always inline with the Sun as it move through the sky, i.e. no matter where the Sun is the central conductor will present the same surface area to heat.
Often these heating systems are so efficient, that over temperature valves and safety guards need to be put into the installed system.
The loss of water from a land area through evaporation from the soil and through plant transpiration.Search the Web for Evapotranspiration
Plants whose leaf cover remains alive year-round, though individual leaves may die and fall. Includes species, such as Rhododendron,
whose leaves go dormant and change color at the end of the growing
season, then green up again for the new season. Other evergreens, such
as Pinus banksiana (Jack Pine), discard batches of leaves
periodically. Evergreens may have needles (pine and spruce, for
instance) or "broad" leaves (holly and rhododendron). Perennial plants
whose leaves all die at once (and usually fall) at the end of each
growing season (i.e. maple trees) are deciduous.
A plant whose needles or leaves remain green throughout the year and do not drop.Search the Web for Evergreen
This is the process by which low-lying clouds are produced from water evaporation off plants, which take their water from the soil. The clouds so produced can help reflect the sun's rays, causing atmospheric cooling..
Materials used to generate heat in chemical or other processes.Search the Web for Exothermics
An introduced species, plant or animal that is not native to a geographic area or ecosystem.Search the Web for Exotic Species
The path from sources of pollutants via, soil, water, or food to man and other species or settings.Search the Web for Exposure Pathway
A cost or benefit not accounted for in the price of goods or services. Often "externality" refers to the cost of pollution and other environmental impacts.Search the Web for Externality
In meteorology, the area north of the Tropic of Cancer and the area south of the Tropic of Capricorn. In other words, the area outside the tropics.Search the Web for Extratropical
A manifestation of weather which is rare within its statistical distribution on a particular location. By rare one usually means rarer than the 90th percentile. The characteristics of extreme weather vary according to the location.Search the Web for Extreme Weather Event