Glossary

Know your terms and definitions.
Please visit this section again as we’ll be adding new terms and definitions often.

Carbon Footprint: All appliances, lighting, travel, heating, cooling, etc emit CO2.  The production of CO2 impacts weather and climate.  Shifts in the temperature and weather patterns, melting glaciers and increased severe storms are results of the impacts of carbon footprints.  Check www.nature.org for information and a calculator.

Biodiversity: The diversity or variety of plants, animals, and other living things in a particular area or region. Biodiversity encompasses habitat diversity, species diversity, and genetic diversity.  Generally, the more diverse an ecosystem the more stable it is.

Ecology: The relationship between organisms and their environment.  From the Greek root meaning “house study” – the study of relationships between plants, animals and their environments.

Sustainability: The ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes and functions, biodiversity, and productivity over time.  Local to global.

Green: Beneficial to the environment, looking at actions that support the local, regional and global environment. Protection and conservation of natural resources.

Quality: An inherent or distinguished character, a trait, a measure of conformance of a product or service to a certain standard or specification, distinction or element; degree of excellence.

Sustainable Design: A win-win solution that provides benefits to the environment, users and use.  Economy of resources, life cycle design and humane design are three goals of sustainable design. Strategies then intend to foster an understanding of how people, products and things interact with local and global environments.
(Source: An Introduction to Sustainable Design, College of Architecture and Urban Design, University of Michigan 1998)

Humane Design: The livability of all constituents of the global ecosystem, including plants and wildlife. The humanitarian and altruistic goal to respecting life and dignity of all living organisms. Environmental quality is intangible, thus look to the performance factor in design.  Preservation of natural conditions, urban and site planning and human comfort are all strategies for humane design and development.
(Source: An Introduction to Sustainable Design, College of Architecture and Urban Design, University of Michigan 1998)

Hoary Vervain

Hoary Vervain

Hepatica

Hepatica

Trillium

Trillium