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3 Rs - an abbreviation for "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle", which is a priority list of things to do to reduce waste. Reducing what is used is the first priority and Recycling is the last priority.

Alternative Energy - energy sources that are not one of the major energy sources currently used such as nuclear, hydro, or coal.

Carbon Footprint - the overall amount of carbon dioxide produced from human activities. Climate change is attributed mostly to increased levels of carbon dioxide. Click carbon footprint for more.

CFL - an acronym for Compact Fluorescent Light. A new type of light bulb that looks like a cork screw and is up to 70% more energy efficient than a traditional light bulb.

Climate Change - the change in long-term weather patterns caused by an increase in greenhouse gasses. This is the new term for Global Warming as we have learned that there are significant impacts on the climate when the earth's surface becomes warmer.

Earth Day - an annual global environmental event, celebrating the importance of nature and protecting the environment. Earth Day is on April 22 of each year.

Earth Hour - an annual global event run by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) where people turn off their lights in support of action on climate change. Earth Hour is on the last Saturday in March.

Eco Friendly - a term used to describe a product or service that is more sensitive to the environment. This is an unregulated term, so ensure you understand why the product or service is marketed this way to avoid being mislead by greenwashing.

Energy Conservation - saving energy by reducing how much is used.

Energy Consumption - the amount of energy used. This is typically used to measure appliances and electronics to determine how energy efficient they are.

Energy Star - an international standard used to measure the energy efficiency of consumer goods. The ENERGY STAR symbol is used to identify the most energy efficient appliances and electronics.

Environmental Awareness - an understanding of environmental issues, which allows people and businesses to make choices that are better for the environment.

Fuel Consumption - the amount of fuel used. This is often used to describe how much fuel a vehicle will use as shown by a rating of Litres per 100 Kilometres (L/100 KM) or Miles Per Gallon (MPG).

Fuel Economy - the measurement of how little fuel is used. This is most frequently used to describe how efficient vehicles are, using a rating of Litres per 100 Kilometres (L/100 KM) or Miles Per Gallon (MPG).

Fuel Efficiency - a term used to describe how little fuel is used. This is most frequently used to describe how efficient vehicles are, using a rating of Litres per 100 Kilometres (L/100 KM) or Miles Per Gallon (MPG).

Fossil Fuel - fuel such as oil, gas, or coal, that are extracted from the earth. These fuels were created over millions of years from plant and animal life that were buried underground and decomposed in a way that turned them into gas, oil, or coal. These fuels are a form of stored, concentrated carbon, which is released into the atmosphere when they are burned, therefore contributing to the climate change problem.

Gas Mileage - a term used to describe how much fuel is used by a vehicle so it can be compared to other vehicles. This is described in Miles Per Gallon (MPG) or Litres per 100 Kilometres (L/100 KM).

Global Warming - this is an outdated term – see climate change. Global warming describes the gradual warming of the earth's surface caused by an increase in greenhouse gasses. Due to a greater understanding of our atmosphere, the scientific community now understands that climate change will result in shifts in temperatures, where some regions may get cooler.

Green Chaos - A term coined by Scott Bennett referring to the confusion of going green. Read more about the green chaos.

Green Energy - this is electricity that has been produced using renewable resources, such as wind or solar, which do not create greenhouse gasses.

Green Products - a general term used to describe products that are better for the environment. This is an unregulated term, so use caution when you see this claim.

Greenhouse Gasses - the gasses that are in the atmosphere that trap heat from escaping from Earth. Greenhouse gasses are a natural part of the atmosphere, but since the industrial revolution, the amount of gasses has increased, therefore causing climate change.

Hybrid Cars - used to describe vehicles that use more than one fuel source. The most popular example of this is the Toyota Prius, which uses an electric motor as well as a traditional engine to power the car. Not all hybrids are equal, so fuel economy is the best way to understand which hybrids are most efficient.

Hydroelectric Energy - also known as hydro, this is electricity that is created using the flow of water. This is typically done by damming up a lake to create enough force from the water to turn a generator.

Localvore - A localvore is someone who eats food grown or produced locally. This reduces the impact on the environment by avoiding food that is shipped long distances. It also helps support local farmers and the local economy.

Recycle - the act of disposing of a waste item in a way that it will be used to create another product. Many regions of the country now have municipal recycling available using a blue-box system, however businesses, apartments, and condos have been slow to adopt recycling.

Renewable Energy - electricity that has been produced using renewable resources such as wind, solar, etc. These are considered clean energy sources as they do not consume any resources or create greenhouse gas emissions.

Renewable Resources - these are natural resources that continually regenerate such as wind power, solar, or hydro. An example of a non-renewable resource is coal.

Slow Food - The Slow Food movement was founded to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.

Solar Energy - energy that is created from sunshine. This is used to either generate solar power or to heat water or buildings. See more solar power terminology.

Solar Hot Water - a term used to describe water that was heated by a solar water heater.

Solar Water Heater - a system used to harness the energy from the sun to heat water. A typical solar water heater system is made up of a solar collector panel, a circulating pump, and a hot water storage tank.

Sustainability - the Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Wind Energy - electricity that is created using a wind turbine.

Wind Farms - a group of wind turbines that are located together.

Wind Turbine - a machine that uses the force of the wind to generate electricity. Generally, the larger the wind turbine, the more efficient it is at generating electricity.