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Glossary
Eco-Development: Is development that proceeds to minimize own environmental impact and maximize its sustainability potentials.
Eco-efficiency: The ability of an economic entity to generate great economic value from fewer resources.
Energy conservation: Using less energy to achieve the same amount of work or decreasing the amount of fuel used to produce the same energy output.
Energy efficiency: The percentage of total energy input that does useful work and is not lost or converted to low temperature, usually useless, heat.
Full-cost accounting: The process of accounting for and including all environmental, economic, and social costs (and benefits) of a particular action.
Green: In general terms, activities that promote the sustainable management of resources, and the protection (and restoration, when necessary) of the natural environment.
Green Industries: in our case at Chicago GreenWorks' Rancho Verde, Green Industries refer to landscaping and other related businesses.
Greenhouse gases: Molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere such a carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and CFCs which warm the atmosphere because they absorb some of the thermal radiation emitted from the earth's surface. Too many = global warming.
Hazardous waste: A class of waste materials that poses immediate or long-term risks to human health or the environment and requires special handling for detoxification or safe disposal. Both industrial and household wastes include hazardous materials.
Non-renewable resource: A natural resource that cannot be replaced after it has been consumed. It applies particularly to fossil fuels, which can only be used once, but it also describes other mineral resources that are present in only fixed quantities in the earth’s crust, although metals can be reused through recycling.
Photovoltaic (PV) cells: Thin silicone wafers that convert any light, not only sunlight, directly into electricity.
Renewable resource: A resource that is replaced at the rate which is faster than, or at least as fast as, it can be used.
Solar thermal energy: Energy produced by using the sun's rays to heat a gas or liquid that then performs useful work, such as powering an electrical generator.
Sustainable development: Refers to economic development that meets the needs of all without leaving future generations with fewer natural resources than those we enjoy today. It is widely accepted that achieving sustainable development requires balance between three dimensions of complementary change:
  • Economic (towards sustainable patterns of production and consumption)
  • Ecological (towards maintenance and restoration of healthy ecosystems)
  • Social (towards poverty eradication and sustainable livelihoods)

Turbine: Rotary engine that converts the energy of a moving stream of water, steam, or gas into mechanical energy. Windmills that generate electricity are known as wind turbines.
Utility: A public or private company that supplies a basic service to the general public, such as electricity, gas, or water.
Wind energy: Energy from moving air which is converted to electricity, by using wind to turn electricity generators. Wind energy has a number of advantages over conventional forms of energy. It is pollution-free and renewable.