Green Key Terms
Footprint: a measure of the amount of carbon emissions, or
greenhouse gases (gases such as carbon dioxide and methane that
trap the heat of the sun in the Earth's atmosphere) produced, by
companies' and/or individuals' activities annually (Source: www.carbonfootprint.com).
Carbon Sequestration: the uptake and storage of carbon from the atmosphere, such as a tree absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and processing it through photosynthesis (Source: EuropeanEnvironmental Agency - www.eea.europa.eu).
Conservation: preserving or protecting living and non-living resources (Definition: Merriam-Webster)
Fuel Cell: an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, with water and heat as its by-product. When used to power vehicles, the heat propels the vehicle; the water is released in the form of water vapor. (Source: http://www.fuelcells.org).
Global Warming: An increase in the near surface
temperature of the Earth. Global warming has occurred in the
distant past as the result of natural influences, but the term is
most often used to refer to the warming predicted to occur as a
result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
Scientists generally agree that the Earth's surface has warmed by
about 1° Fahrenheit in the past 140
years (Source: Environmental Protection Agency: www.epa.gov).
Hybrid Vehicles: vehicles that usually use more than one power source, such as an internal combustion engine and a battery or fuel cell (Source: www.hybrid-vehicle.org)
Ozone Layer: a protective layer in the Earth's atmosphere that filters harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun (Source: Environmental Protection Agency: www.epa.gov).
Sustainability: meeting the needs of the present without compromising the livelihood of the future.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): compounds that vaporize easily and have low water solubility that are often human-made chemicals used and produced in the manufacture of paints, pharmaceuticals, refrigerants and are components of petroleum fuels.
Alternate/Renewable Energy: sources of energy that do not rely on fossil fuels, such as solar, wind and tidal energy (Source: U.S. Department of Energy)
Non-renewable Energy: energy obtained from exhaustible sources, such as fossil fuels
Power Units of Measure:
Megawatt-hour (MWh): 1,000 kilowatt-hours or 1,000,000 watt-hours. Generating 1 MWh of electricity from non-renewable energy sources produces an average of 0.6 tons of greenhouse gases. According to Department of Energy estimates, the average U.S. home consumes roughly 11 MWhs annually (varies by region).