eco terms

Alternative Energy - Usually environmentally friendly, this is energy from uncommon sources such as wind power or solar energy, not fossil fuels.

Biodegradable - Substances which, when left alone, break down and are absorbed into the eco-system.

Carbon Footprint - A measure of the your impact on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.

Carbon Offsetting - Offsetting the amount of carbon emissions (co2) produced in manufacture, production, transport, energy, food, etc with the planting of trees.

Climate Change - A change in temperature and weather patterns due to human activity like burning fossil fuels.

Conservation - Preserving and renewing, when possible, human and natural resources.

Environmental Impact - Environmental impact is to consider the potential of all things effecting the environment. i.e. the use of air, water, waste and energy usage etc.

Fair-trade - Producer organizations that supply fair-trade products are inspected and certified by FLO (Fair-trade Labeling Organizations International) and receive a minimum price that covers the cost of sustainable production, together with an extra premium that is invested in social or economic development projects. by buying direct from farmers at better prices, helping to strengthen their organizations and marketing their produce directly, consumers have the opportunity to buy products, which were bought on the basis of a fair trade.

Fossil Fuels - Fossil fuels are the remains of plant and animal life that are used to provide energy by combustion; coal, oil, natural gas.

Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) Certified - GOTS certification ensures that the entire manufacturing process adheres to a strict set of standards that include criteria such as what types of dyes are allowed, what kind of closures may be used, what types of substances are prohibited in manufacture, and how to treat waste water. GOTS also includes important social components to ensure living wages are paid and a safe, hygienic work environment is provided.

Global Warming - Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere and temperatures are rising.1

Greenhouse Gases - Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are those that contribute to the 'greenhouse effect', trapping heat from the sun in the earth's atmosphere. carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas, but there are a number of others including methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N20).

HDPE - High Density Polyethylene. a type of plastic that is commonly used in milk cartons

Organic Agricultural Practices - Do not use chemical pesticides (poisons), synthetic fertilizers or genetically engineered ingredients. They promote bio-diversity and more efficient farming practices. They also sequester more carbon per acre and release less carbon into the atmosphere.

Organic Cotton - cotton that is grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides from seeds which are not genetically modified.

P.E.T. - Polyethylene Terapthelate polyester is produced from recycled soft drink bottles which are produced under the rigid standards imposed by The Federal Drug and Food Administration. The bottles are separated by color, sterilized and then crushed, chopped, and melted. The melted plastic is extruded through a shower-head type device, producing fibrous polyester strands. Those strands are woven into eco P.E.T. tech-fleece, along with many other products, even in place of plastics.

Post-Consumer Waste - Post-consumer waste is collected through commercial and residential recycling programs and recycled content could include both post-consumer waste and post-industrial waste. Post-consumer materials include recyclables such as office paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastics and metals.

Post-Industrial Waste - Post-industrial waste (or pre-consumer waste) is produced during the manufacturing process, for instance paper off-cuts from printing processes or fabric scraps from manufacturing of apparel.

Pre-consumer textile fibers - Textile clippins are collected, sorted by color, chopped into "Shoddy", and spun into yarn. The fibers retian the color of the original textile, so no dyes are needed, saving water & energy.

Recyclable - The term "recyclable" on products is misleading - used to designate that a product or its package can be recycled. anything can in theory be recycled. if you are looking to do the right thing for the environment, you should be choosing items that are made from recycled material.

Recycled - The reprocessing of a waste product into a new product (often taking the place of virgin material), and then bought back by the consumer as new item. paper, card, tires, plastic, CD's, glass and aluminum etc. are all products that can be recycled, however some loss of quality affects application in the number of time materials may be recycled.

Recycling - the process of collecting, sorting, and reprocessing old material into usable raw materials.

Renewable Resources - A natural resource qualifies as renewable if it is naturally replenished at least as fast as it is consumed, such as oxygen and fresh water. They can become non-renewable, however, if used faster than the environment can replenish them.

Sustainable - blend of polyester from RPET (recycled plastic bottles) and cotton. It takes about 3 plastic bottles to produce enough polyester to make the Anvil Sustainable Tee.

Vegetable-based Inks - Using vegetable oil, rather than petroleum solvents, as the vehicle for carrying pigment. Vegetable ink colors tend to be more vibrant than petroleum-based inks, but may take longer to dry.

1 Source: An Inconvenient Truth,