Glossary

TERMS TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND OUR SITE

The following terms are used throughout our site and by organizations

striving for sustainability. We want to make sure that everyone understands the terms so that we are all on the same planet, oops we mean page.

AEROBIC

Relating to, involving or requiring oxygen.


ANAEROBIC

Relating to, involving, or requiring NO oxygen.


BIODEGRADABLE

Of a substance or object capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms.


COMPOSTABLE

Under a composting program, the product must:

  • Break to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass at a rate similar to paper
  • Disintegrate into small pieces within 90 days so that the original product is not visually distinguishable in the compost
  • Leave no toxic residue


CLOSED LOOP

Production system in which the waste or byproducts of one process or products is used in making another product.


CRADLE TO GRAVE

Describes the system boundaries of full Life Cycle Assessment from manufacture (cradle) to use phase and disposal phase (grave).


DECOMPOSE

Make or become rotten; decay or cause to decay.

ENVIRONMENTALLY PREFERABLE PRODUCTS (EPP)

Environmentally Preferable Products and services have a lesser or reduced negative effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. Environmentally preferable products possess more than one environmentally friendly attribute.


GREEN WASHING

When a company, government or other group promotes green-based environmental initiatives or images but actually operates in a way that is damaging to the environment or in an opposite manner to the goal of the announced initiatives. This can also include misleading customers about the environmental benefits of a product through misleading advertising and unsubstantiated claims.


IRRIGATION TUBING

A system of crop irrigation involving the controlled delivery of water directly to plants through a network of plastic tubing.

LEED (LEADERSHIP IN ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN)

An examination, like an audit, of the total impact of the product or service's manufacturing, use, and disposal in terms of material and energy. This includes an analysis and inventory of all parts, materials, and energy, and their impacts in the manufacturing of a product but usually doesn't include social impacts.


LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA)

A Life Cycle Assessment is a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a products life from cradle to grave (i.e. from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling)

POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED (PCR)

Once a material or finished product has served its intended use and has been diverted or recovered from waste destined for disposal, it is then considered "post-consumer." Having completed its life as a consumer item, it can then be recycled as such.

 

PRE-CONSUMER RECYCLED CONTENT

Pre-consumer recycled content (Post-Industrial) is the percentage of materials in a product that is recycled from manufacturing waste. Examples include planer shavings, sawdust, trimmed materials, and obsolete inventories-never used by consumers.


RESIN

Plastic



SUSTAINABLE

The quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.


THIRD-PARTY CERTIFICATION

An independent organization has reviewed the manufacturing process of a product and has independently determined that the final product complies with specific standards for safety, quality or performance.


UNDERWRITERS LABORATORY (UL)

Underwriters Laboratory is a global independent safety science company with more than a century of expertise innovating safety solutions from the public adoption of electricity to new breakthroughs in sustainability, renewable energy and nanotechnology. Dedicated to promoting safe living and working environments, UL helps safeguard people, products and places in important ways, facilitating trade and providing peace of mind.