Glossary of Terms

Go Green Winston-Salem(These links will open in a new window)

Alternative Fuels
Non-petroleum fuels, such as biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, methanol, natural gas, and propane.
US Dept. of Energy Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center

Carpool, Vanpool
Sharing rides to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, especially during typical rush hours.

CFL: Compact fluorescent lamp
A spiral-shaped fluorescent lamp that is energy efficient. Look for the Energy Star rating. Dispose of properly.

CNG: Compressed Natural Gas
an alternative fuel

The practice of being careful of resources consumed.

Cool Cities
A program to encourage cities to implement smart energy solutions to save money and build a cleaner, safer future.
The Sierra Club Cool Cities program

Cool Roofs
A cool roof consists of materials that effectively reflect the sun's energy from the roof surface. Cool roofs must also have high emissivity, which allows them to emit infrared energy.

Energy Efficiency
The practice of using energy resources in an efficient way so as to require less to be used.

Energy Star
A rating system to help consumers compare items that they might purchase.
The Energy Star web site

Environmental Justice
The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Environmental justice can also refer to a social movement in the United States whose focus is on the fair distribution of environmental benefits and burdens.

Sustainable communities allocate resources and opportunities fairly so that all people who do the full range of jobs that a community needs can thrive in it. Local governments in these communities actively eliminate barriers to full participation in community life and work to correct past injustices.

The current word to describe taking measures to use resources wisely, including sustainability considerations, alternative fuels and materials, and natural food and drink.
National Geographic has a GREEN GUIDE web site

Green Infrastructure
An interconnected system of natural areas and open space that conserves ecosystem values, helps sustain clean air and water, and provides benefits to people and wildlife.

Green Roof
Covering a rooftop with a garden to keep the surface temperature low.

Greenhouse Gases
Some greenhouse gases are naturally-occuring and serve to maintain the surface temperature of the earth. When too much greenhouse gas is released into the atmosphere (man-made), then the natural balance is disrupted.
Read about greenhouse gasesStatistics from the Energy Information Adminstration

Hybrid Vehicle
A car or other vehicle that uses electricity along with other fuel.
How Hybrids Work

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a rating system created by USGBC (see definition below) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building.

Grown using natural forms of pest control and fertilizer. 

Renewable Energy
Energy resources that are replenished and do not wear out or run out, such as using the wind and the sun to provide usable energy. 
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The ability of a human or ecological system to respond and recover. In addition to the inherent conditions that allow the system to absorb impacts and cope with the event, resilience also includes post-event adaptive processes that facilitate the ability of the system to reorganize, change, and learn in response to the event.

Scope 1 Emissions
Direct emissions from owned or controlled sources 

Scope 2 Emissions
Indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy

Scope 3 Emissions
Other indirect GHG emissions, such as the extraction and production of purchased materials and fuels, transport-related activities in vehicles not owned or controlled by the reporting entity, electricity-related activities not covered in Scope 2, outsources activities, or waste disposal.

When rain falls, the water that is not absorbed into the ground travels along roads, parking lots, and driveways, and collects surface pollutants as it flows into rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water.
Winston-Salem Stormwater

The practice of meeting the needs of present development without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

U.S. Green Building Council
An organization of community leaders who are concerned with building practices that focus on environmentally-friendly materials, protecting ecosystems and biodiversity, improving air and water quality, and conserving natural resources.
The U.S. Green Building Council

The practice of making homes and building more energy efficient. Weatherization reduces heating and cooling bills.
U.S. Dept. of Energy Weatherization Assistance Program

Recycling Terms

Chip Board
Paperboard packaging for food and other miscellaneous products, such as cereal, cracker, pasta and other food packages; paper towel and toilet tissue rolls; detergent, facial tissues, shoe boxes, etc. Chipboard is usually brown or gray on the inside and does not include boxes with waxed, aluminum or plastic coatings, such as milk, juice, or frozen food cartons.

Occurs when an unacceptable item is placed into a recycling container. Contamination hinders and sometimes ruins otherwise good recyclables, costs money, and must be transported to the landfill

Multi-family Household
A building containing more than one dwelling unit, such as apartments, condominiums, and townhouses.

Paper Products
Recyclable items consisting of newspaper, magazines, junk mail and office paper, telephone books, chipboard, and corrugated cardboard.

The practice of allowing goods to be re-used, to extend their life and to keep them out of the landfill. The practice of buying goods made from recycled items.

The used items can be used as a raw material to make new things. It does not mean that the item was made from recycled materials or can be recycled in your community.

If a new product is labeled as "recycled", that product or its packaging have been made from used materials.

Notify me of page changes

Receive E-Mail Notification When New Information is Posted on this Page
As a member, enjoy the benefits of MyCityofWS, including your choice of newsletters, and notifications about events and site updates. Login and Manage Your Subscriptions Now.