Carbon neutral (AKA “net zero carbon”)
The net discharge of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is zero. Can be achieved by planting enough trees so that CO2 emissions from combustion would be offset by the absorption of the plants. The average tree absorbs 10 KG (22 pounds) of CO2 per year.
Embodied energy (includes hidden energy)
Total energy used to create a product, including that used in mining harvesting, processing, fabricating and transporting
The measurement of the efficiency of the bulb in converting electricity into light, measured in lumens per watt
Ash residue from high-temperature combustion processes of coal. Has a very high calcium content that can be a substitute for Portland cement. Is much lighter, and is a byproduct so it cuts down on mining, and transportation energy.
Used as an adhering component of glues in many wood products. Can cause respiratory problems, cancer and chemical sensitivity
Wastewater that does not contain sewage, and can be reused for irrigation or flushing toilets
misleading claims about environmental performance
Indoor air quality (IAQ)
Defined by ASHRAE as air in which there are no known contaminants at harmful concentrations.
Material Safety Data Sheets state the known data on VOC’s contained in the product. MSDS sheets are available on manufacturers websites.
Release of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
Post-consumer recycled content
A product that has served its intended use and is being recycled
Pre-consumer recycled content
Material diverted from the waste stream following an industrial process.
Rapidly renewable resource
Agricultural products that can be harvested on a 10 year or shorter cycle