Environmental and energy glossary
A highly-flammable, colorless, odorless, tasteless
gas which is the main constituent of "natural
gas." It is formed naturally or can be manufactured
and is used as a fuel and for manufacturing
Also called methyl alcohol or wood alcohol.
A clear, colorless, very mobile liquid that
is flammable and poisonous; used as a fuel
and fuel additive, and to produce chemicals.
A hydrocarbon gas obtained from underground
sources, often in association with petroleum
and coal deposits. It generally contains a
high percentage of methane, varying amounts
of ethane and inert gases and is used primarily
as a heating fuel.
fuels: Fuels that cannot be easily
made or "renewed," such as oil, natural gas
Nuclear energy: Energy that comes from splitting atoms of radioactive materials, such as uranium, and which produces radioactive wastes.
Off-peak: The period of low energy demand, as opposed to maximum, or peak, demand.
Organic: An ecological production system based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony. Organic products are not just limited to produce and can include organic clothing, flowers, pet food and nutritional supplements.
Pay-as-you-throw programs: Residents are charged for the collection of municipal solid waste based on the amount they throw away, rather than paying for waste collection through property taxes or a fixed fee. Also known as unit pricing or variable-rate pricing, PAYT programs create an economic incentive to recycle more and to generate less waste.
Also called a vampire load. The consumption
of power by an appliance even when it is turned
off. Examples of phantom loads include appliances
with electronic clocks or timers, appliances
with remote controls and appliances with wall
cubes (a small box that plugs into an AC outlet
to power appliances).
Photovoltaic device: A solid-state electrical device that converts light directly into direct current electricity.
Photovoltaic (solar) module or panel: A solar photovoltaic product that has groups of PV cells connected to produce power.
A hydrocarbon gas that occurs in crude oil,
natural gas and refinery cracking gas. It
is used as a fuel, a solvent and a refrigerant.
Propane liquefies under pressure and is the
major component of liquefied petroleum gas
Recycled: Material diverted from the waste stream and used to make goods. Can be pre-consumer (like factory scraps that were never used) or post-consumer (which is material made from items previously used by individuals).
Recycling: The process of converting materials that are no longer useful as designed or intended into a new product.