Green dictionary

This page contains brief definitions of terms, concepts and words that are related to renewable energy, recycling and the other themes of this blog. Many of them are explained further or elaborated upon in posts – feel free to use our search box to find more on a specific term.

BIODIVERSITY
The variation and number of different life forms within a given ECOSYSTEM.

BIOMASS
Biological material and/or waste that can be converted to something we can burn to produce energy.

CARBON FOOTPRINT
Total greenhouse gas emissions – direct or indirect – caused by an individual, organization, event or product.

CARBON NEUTRAL
Over time removing the same amount of greenhouse gas from the atmosphere as is put in.

CLIMATE CHANGE
Changes to the Earth’s temperature and weather conditions – widely assumed to be related to pollution.

CONDUCTION
The transfer of heat by direct contact between solid objects.

CONVECTION
The transfer of heat between a liquid or gas in motion and a nearby solid surface.

ECOSYSTEM
All plants, animals and micro-organisms in a given area and their interactions with their environment.

EMBODIED ENERGY
The total energy spent in a product’s entire life cycle, including raw material extraction, transport, manufacture, installation and disassembly/deconstruction/decomposition.

EMISSIVITY
A material’s ability to radiate absorbed energy.

FRACTION
In waste management terminology, a fraction is a subtype of trash. Examples: paper, organic, glass.

GLOBAL WARMING
An increase in the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere due to greenhouse gases trapping heat.

GREENHOUSE GASES
Gases that, when released to the Earth’s atmosphere, will prevent heat from escaping to space.

HEAT CAPACITY
See THERMAL MASS

HEAT TRANSFER
The transition of heat from a hot object to a cooler object.

HYDROELECTRICITY
Electricity generated by using the gravitational force of flowing or falling water.

MONOCULTURE
The production or growing of one single crop across a wide area.

RADIATION
The transfer of heat through empty space.

R VALUE
A measure of the thermal resistance in insulation materials – a high R value indicates effective insulation.

THERMAL MASS
The capacity of an object to store heat.

TURBINE
A rotary engine that extracts energy from the flow of a fluid – most commonly water.

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