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Speaking the Green Language

Words, phrases and their meanings are constantly evolving and changing as cultures find new experiences they need to describe. The dawn of the “Green Revolution” and its effect on our lexicon is no different. As our society places increasing importance on efforts made to “go green”, our language has expanded to include this new priority. Here is a short guide to some new terms you may not be familiar with:

CRADLE TO CRADLE – a product whose production, use and disposal is considered efficient and waste free. That is, a product that is manufactured with environmental consideration, that does not produce carbon emissions and requires few if any natural resources to function and that can be recycled or composted at the end of its life.

ENERGY STAR – a certification for electronics and appliances based on rules and guidelines agreed upon by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy that denotes energy use efficiency. Energy star products save consumers money overall by using less energy while simultaneously conserving the earth’s natural resources.

GREEN LIVING – Committing to a lifestyle that takes responsibility for the environment. That is, making changes in one’s day to day living to ‘reduce, reuse or recycle’ thus making ones existence beneficial, or at least not harmful, to the planet as opposed to depleting the planet of natural resources, wasting resources or producing toxins into the environment.

PHANTOM POWER – also known as “Vampire Power.” Refers to electricity used by plugged-in appliances even when they are powered off.

UPCYCLE – the redesign of a product no longer considered useful to create something more valuable. For example, creating a blanket out of old T-shirts or using old greeting cards to create custom coasters.

URBAN GARDEN – the practice of planting flowers, plants and produce in a an apartment, office building or other urban space utilizing pots and planters rather than ground soil.

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