Energy from sources that do not produce harmful emissions; for example, unconventional power from the sun, wind or running water. ([Click here]  to learn more about alternative sources of energy.
The ability of a material to be broken down or to decompose by natural processes.
A clean burning alternative fuel produced from domestic renewable resources, such as soybean oil. It can be used in diesel engines with little to no modification.
A large variety of different species represented in a certain area.
Fuel that is produced from renewable sources.
Most commonly, plant matter grown for the use as biofuel.
The interconnectedness of organisms (plants, animals, microbes) with each other and their environment.
Any measure that limits and reduces the release of emissions.
The release of any gas, liquid or solid.
The environmental impact of a company or person, measured by the raw materials and nonrenewable resources or products it wastes.
Any change to the environment whether it is harmful or helpful.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)
A federal government program that helps government agencies purchase environmentally friendly products and services and stimulates other companies to "buy green."
Any fuel that was created by decomposed plants and animals. Burning fossil fuels create carbon dioxide and are a large contributor to pollution.
Obtaining energy from the heat of the earth. Though it is considered renewable, heat can eventually be depleted after a certain point, and therefore it is not entirely renewable. ([Click here]  to learn more about renewable energy).
Any dish, shower, sink, or laundry water that has been used in the home is called gray water and may be reused for other purposes, especially landscape irrigation.
Incorporates environmental principles, such as durability, efficiency, and renewability, into constructing a building or designing a product.
Tradable commodities which represent that a certain amount of energy (1 megawatt hour) was generated from a renewable energy resource.
A movement incorporating environmental awareness, social responsibility, bioregionalism, and nonviolence.
Energy obtained from water, usually by damming a river or by using tidal power. ([Click here]  to learn more about renewable energy).
A natural resource that can’t be replenished because the rate of formation is slower than the rate of consumption. Fossil fuels, metals, minerals, and groundwater are nonrenewable.
Energy from the nucleus (core) of an atom. ([Click here]  to learn more about renewable energy).
A steady decline (4% per decade) in the total amount of ozone in the Earth’s stratosphere.
Energy that we get from a source that can’t run out. The biggest source of renewable energy is solar radiation (sunlight). Also known as "green power" or "clean energy". ([Click here]  to learn more about renewable energy).
Socially Responsible Investing
Investing money in companies that abide by sustainability guidelines.
The technology that we use to obtain energy from sunlight. ([Click here]  to learn more about renewable energy).
A characteristic of a process that can be maintained indefinitely.
Meeting the needs of the present while planning and growing without compromise to the future environmental state.
Power obtained by catching the energy of moving water masses from tides. ([Click here]  to learn more about renewable energy).
Total Environmental Impact
The total change on the environment from humans, industry and natural disasters.
Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)
Organic chemical compounds which vaporize under normal conditions, such as methane. The can damage soil and groundwater and contribute to air pollution.
Converting wind into energy through wind turbines. ([Click here]  to learn more about renewable energy).