GreenBusinessOwner.com’s green glossary is an ever-growing list of constantly updated key sustainable business terms for sustainability professionals (so don’t mind the date and time stamp above).
If you feel that we’re missing something, we appreciate you letting us know by adding it as a comment at the bottom.
Natural Gas – often cited as a cleaner burning fuel due to the fact that after being combusted, natural gas produces very nontoxic emissions. Its main byproduct is a greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, but natural gas is clearly cleaner than burning oil, diesel, gasoline, or many other fossil fuels. One of the challenges with natural gas is its extraction. Many have called America the Saudi Arabia of natural gas, due to our wealth of natural gas reserves. But extracting that natural gas requires fracking, a process that can be highly toxic to groundwater and seismically challenging. For more information, check out Gasland, a documentary about fracking. Also, see methane.
Natural Resources – everything from trees to water to wildlife to fossil fuels is referred to as a natural resource, since these derived, at least at one point, from living beings. Things like lead and zinc are not considered natural resources.
Nissan Leaf – the most successful all-electric vehicle in recent time. Check out this commercial with Lance Armstrong about the difference between biking behind cars with tailpipes and those without:
Nuclear energy – energy derived from the fission of atoms. It’s complex folks. It’s “clean” in that it produces no emissions, but very unclean in that it produces nuclear waste in terms of spent fuel rods, and to date, no one has come up with a good way to store these waste products or get rid of them. As Japan’s tsunami taught us in 2011, nuclear energy is one natural disaster away from becoming a global calamity.
Have a suggestion for a term, organization or concept to add to our glossary? Send it along! Email info at greenbusinessowner.com with the subject line “glossary”. Thanks for helping us make this a great community resource!
Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. As a serial eco-entrepreneur who has started, grown and sold multiple green businesses, Scott believes that capitalism, true capitalism, can be a powerful force for change, but that our current version of capitalism is severely hampered by perverse subsidies and negative externalities that make unsustainable products less expensive than healthier alternatives. Scott is a vegetarian, an avid cyclist, and an organic gardener. Find Scott on Google Plus