Vocabulary for Describing Environmental Science and Sustainability

  • Biodiversity – the variety of plant and animal life in a particular habitat or ecosystem.
  • Climate Change – the long-term shifts in temperature, precipitation, wind patterns, and other measures of climate that occur over several decades or longer.
  • Conservation – the protection and preservation of natural resources and ecosystems.
  • Ecosystem – a community of living and nonliving things that interact with each other in a particular environment.
  • Greenhouse Gas – a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Habitat – the place where a particular species of plant or animal lives and grows.
  • Renewable Energy – energy sources that can be replenished naturally, such as solar, wind, and hydropower.
  • Sustainability – the ability to maintain or preserve a certain level of environmental quality and resource availability for future generations.
  • Waste Management – the collection, treatment, and disposal of waste, including efforts to reduce and recycle waste.
  • Water Conservation – the responsible use and management of water resources, including efforts to reduce waste and prevent pollution.
  • Wildfire – a large, uncontrolled fire that spreads through forests, grasslands, or other natural areas.
  • Carbon Footprint – the total amount of greenhouse gases produced by an individual, organization, or community, often expressed in terms of the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide.
  • Eco-Friendly – products or practices that have a minimal negative impact on the environment.
  • Recycling – the process of converting waste materials into new products, reducing the use of virgin raw materials and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.
  • Composting – the process of breaking down organic waste, such as food and yard waste, into a rich soil amendment that can be used to fertilize plants and gardens.

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