With so many words and phrases related to the environment, it can be hard to keep track of what all of them actually mean. We have created a list of all the terminology that the products in circulation can be marked.
(Biodegradable plastic is plastic that will degrade through the action of naturally occurring microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, etc. over some time.)
A product made of natural, raw materials that will decompose or rot into the earth without harming the environment. However, biodegradable products like plates, cups, and utensils are able to break down in a biodegradable industrial setting. Industrial biodegradable settings are usually more controlled than natural environments.
A bio-based material is a material intentionally made from substances derived from living (or once-living) organisms. Strictly the definition could include many common materials such as wood and leather, but it typically refers to modern materials that have undergone more extensive processing. Bio-based materials are often biodegradable, but this is not always the case.
Bioproducts or bio-based products are materials, chemicals, and energy derived from renewable biological resources.
Items that can break down into small pieces within 90 days and don't release toxic residue are considered compostable. Things like newspapers, eggshells, coffee grounds, fruits, veggies, etc. can all be composted. They break down into nutrient-rich soil and can be used to help plants grow. Composting can happen on individual, communal, and industrial levels. Composting helps reduce the amount of food waste that gets sent to the landfill.
Carbon neutral is when there is no net release of carbon. For example, if a company releases a certain amount of carbon into the environment and then takes actions to take that same amount of carbon out of the environment, they are carbon neutral. This is often done by planting trees or donating money to organizations that work to reduce carbon emissions.
The relationship between organisms and their environment. Commonly and informally used as a term for products and materials which are environmentally friendly.
Eco-friendly / Environmentally Friendly / Planet-Friendly
A broad term used for products and materials which are made specifically to reduce the negative effects on the environment. Also reducing the use of non-renewable resources in sourcing, manufacturing, packaging, use, and disposal. This term applies to activities and services.
A product or material which does not come from human-made origins, e.g., timber, leather, beeswax, etc.
A substance which is not poisonous or hazardous to a living organism's health, well being and survival.
A resource such as a raw material that cannot be regenerated, replaced, or restored within a human lifetime. One example of this is fossil fuels.
Recycling is the process of converting waste into new materials. Recycling centers don't always accept all recyclable materials because some materials are more difficult to recycle than others. When looking at a product made from plastic, you may see a triangle with a number in the middle. The number indicates what type of plastic it is. One downside to using plastic is it can only be recycled a limited number of times before its quality is too low to use again, then it ends up in a landfill.
The practice of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash. Instead, they are used to make new products.
The process of using recycled materials for manufacturing new products. The materials, however, go down in quality compared to their state in the original product. This process is an invaluable and essential aspect of recycling.
The process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality and environmental value. It'sIt's the opposite of downcycling.
The practice of reducing waste by attempting to avoid bringing items that will generate waste into home or business. The preferred method of integrated solid waste management because it cuts waste at its source, and therefore, trash is eliminated before it is created.
The activities and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal. This includes the collection, transport, treatment, and disposal of waste, together with monitoring and regulation of the waste management process.
Sustainable human activities will not adversely affect generations in the future. An example of sustainable material is timber supplies, the rate of felling and growing of trees must be balanced so that felling does not outweigh the time needed for growing new trees. Forests that are in balance are called sustainably managed forests. Another aspect of this lifestyle choice is to conserve as much as possible.
A vegan product does not contain any animal ingredients or animal-derived ingredients. This includes, but is not limited to, honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol, gelatin, and many others. Items that are tested on animals can claim to be "vegan." This is a crucial distinction because a vegan product is not necessarily cruelty-free.
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