BIO-DEGRADABLE - technically, this means the material will degrade in the soil, and is able to decay naturally and harmlessly, like well made compost does. Some plastic rubbish and shopping bags are described as bio-degradable, however some of these bags have to make it to landfill to break down just a little bit faster than the standard ones. They still last a long, long time in the ocean, creek or just laying around as litter anywhere. Maybe we can wrap our household rubbish in newspaper like people did before plastic rubbish bags became so commonplace.
BIODYNAMIC - Biodynamic -BD- farming is a specialised form of organic farming. Bio-Dynamic farmers develop further skills to "culture" the soil. These include the systematic use of precisely formulated herbal and mineral formulas. BD farmers also plant and harvest according to seasonal and lunar rhythms. "Certified biodynamic" means the growing and processing is supervised, by certifying organisations.
BIODYNAMIC compared to ORGANIC - In essence, biodynamic farming is a specialised type of organic farming. Both methods seek to sustain natural balance within our environments ecosystems, but biodynamic farmers follow unique guidelines, such as planting and harvesting at specific times in the moon cycle and also the application of (to compost, crops and soil) several strictly formulated herbs and minerals.
Both ORGANIC and BIODYNAMIC farm management systems acknowledge that the healthy condition of soil is their primary concern. Both systems do not include the use of synthetic chemicals, which pollute the environment and also encourage depletion of nutrients and microorganisms in the soil. Both ORGANIC and BIODYNAMIC systems make use of natural soil amendments, manual/ mechanical weed control, nontoxic pest management, and sustainable animal husbandry.
Biodynamic agriculture meets organic standards. Based on Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner's notion of the farm and earth as self-sustaining organisms, it involves the application (to compost, crops, and soil) of several strictly formulated plant "preparations", and times all operations to coincide with cosmic rhythms, particularly of lunar cycles.
BIO-FUEL - Fuel for cars and stoves made from plant material. Initially this was thought to be a major environmental solution to the problems associated with fossil fuels (petrol). The problem has been that vast areas of rainforest were cleared to grow the plant material. It's now thought that bio-fuel made from processing waste products, such as corn and wheat stalks, citrus peel and sawdust, is more of a solution than the first type of bio-fuel was.
BIO-PAINT - Environmentally safer paint and painting related products made with non toxic ingredients mostly sourced from nature, and not containing harmful solvents.
BLACK WATER - Waste water from the toilet.
CARBON – Carbon exists all around us in many forms with a relatively small percentage as carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Environmental problems have occurred as this finely tuned amount has risen in recent years, causing too much heat to be captured in earths' atmosphere. Carbon atoms are present in every fossil fuel (coal, oil and gas) and are released as CO2 when they are burnt. In contrast, non-combustion energy sources -wind and sunlight- do not convert hydrocarbons to carbon dioxide.
CARBON CALCULATOR – A method of calculating the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere, or taken from the atmosphere, when certain actions are performed. This is how an environmental footprint is measured.
CARBON CREDITS – Buying these is a way of balancing an individuals or an industries environmental impact. When someone uses a certain amount of coal-created electricity, or drives a car and measures the amount of petrol used, the carbon released into the atmosphere can be calculated. This can then be neutralized by planting a certain number of trees, which then absorb the carbon. We can now pay someone to plant trees for us to offset our carbon emissions.
CARBON DIOXIDE – or CO2 is a chemical compound made up of carbon and oxygen.
CARBON EMMISSIONS – Carbon released into our environment.
CARBON FOOTPRINT – Every day the actions we take, such as driving a car, eating a sandwich (the grain had to be ground and transported, the bread had to be baked and transported, and people may have driven in cars to get to where they perform these jobs) or turning on a light, (unless the electricity is solar generated) produce a certain amount of greenhouse gases which can be calculated in units of carbon dioxide. An individual's carbon footprint is determined by measuring the amount of greenhouse gases that their activities produce.
CARBON NEUTRAL – This term is used to describe an activity or a product which has no carbon related environmental impact.
CARBON OFFSET – Compensate for the release of carbon into the atmosphere by planting trees which will absorb that same amount of carbon.
CARBON SEQUESTRATION – The uptake of carbon by the ocean or by the action of plants growing. Recently various mechanical methods, (eg. storing the carbon underground) of carbon storage are being investigated. Carbon sequestration (carbon sink) is a biochemical process by which atmospheric carbon is absorbed by living organisms, including trees, soil micro-organisms, and crops, and involving the storage of carbon in soils, with the potential to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Carbon dioxide is incorporated into forests and forest soils by trees and other plants. Through photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, store the carbon, and release the oxygen into the atmosphere. A young forest, composed of fast growing trees, absorbs carbon dioxide and acts as a sink. Mature forests, made up of a mix of various aged trees as well as dead and decaying matter, may be carbon neutral above ground. In the soil, however, the gradual build-up of slowly decaying organic material will continue to accumulate carbon, but at a slower rate than an immature forest
CARBON SINK – The Ocean and plant life are carbon sinks.
CARBON TAX – This is a tax charged to industries that produce carbon emissions. This money may then be used to fund environmental projects, or plant more trees.
CARBON TRADING – (or Emission Trading) Companies are issued emission permits (usually issued by the government) which represent the right to emit a specific amount of carbon. Companies that need to increase their emission allowance must buy credits from those who pollute less. The transfer of allowances is referred to as trading. In effect, the buyer is paying a charge for polluting, while the seller is being rewarded for having reduced emissions by more than was needed. Those that can easily reduce emissions most cheaply will do so, achieving the pollution reduction at the lowest possible cost to society
CERTIFIED ORGANIC and CERTIFIED BIODYNAMIC – Certification assures the consumer that all of the strictly required standards and practices are being followed. There are several certifying companies in Australia. Why Choose Certified Organic? The only way customers can be assured that they are purchasing REAL ORGANIC products, produced without the use of synthetic chemicals and GMO's, is to purchase products which are certified as organic. Chemicals- Why, here on the Saved Planet, are we so concerned about the use of synthetic chemicals in our environment (eg. cleaning products) on our bodies (eg. skin and hair care products) and in our bodies (synthetic chemicals used in food farming, food storage and food preparation,- packaged food and sauces)? Preservatives, pesticides, perc.(dry cleaning fluid currently used here in Australia) short for perchloroethylen, a known carcinogen (ie.known to cause cancer) which is a hazardous waste collected from dry cleaners and buried deep, somewhere in distant soil, flavour enhancers, artificial colouring, herbicides, humecants and fungicides, are all being used in products we are purchasing and consuming, (eating, drinking, putting on our skin and hair, spraying into the air we breath and pouring them out into our precious environment, if we don't consciously avoid choosing them. See a consequence of chemical manufacture - NEWS - Bad News - "Haunted By Drums Of Death". Companies that manufacture shampoos, toothpastes, body washes, soaps and other similar products do not have to put all of a product's ingredients on the label. Nor do they have to test the chemicals they add to their products for health effects on humans. When tested on animals some of them have caused a range of problems from skin and eye irritation to cancer and birth defects. Bathroom, kitchen and laundry cleaners such as bleach, oven cleaners, fabric softeners, disinfectants and detergents are highly toxic and can irritate the skin, as well as fumes becoming a danger when used in a poorly ventilated area as they are ingested into the body. It's a proven reality that chemicals often store in our kidneys, liver and other internal organs and can lead to functional problems of any area of the body. Many of the chemicals in use today are known carcinogens. They are also often known to be harmful to our beautiful planet, whose environmental harmony we are so dependent upon. We need to speak to the manufacturers of these products, and ask them to find safer ingredients and practices. By purchasing organic and chemical free, we are supporting a safer work environment for farm workers, healthier food for our own body, and a safer outcome for our planet and the future inhabitants. Less than 10% of food consumed in Australia today is organic or chemical free. If we don't improve things now, people in the future (our grandchildren, their grandchildren) will be suffering further consequences of our bad choices and actions. Be part of the solution, it's easy, buy organic and chemical free!
CHEMICAL FREE – no synthetic chemicals added.
CLIMATE CHANGE – Long-term significant change in the "average weather" that a particular region experiences. Average weather may include average temperature, precipitation and wind patterns. These changes can be caused by dynamic processes on earth, external forces including variations in sunlight intensity, and more recently by human activities. CO2- Carbon dioxide is a chemical compound made up of carbon and oxygen.
COMPOST – When we compost our food scraps, paper, weeds etc. we are creating nutritious mulch for our garden. This means the soil will hold water better, will be easier to dig, and we don't have to buy fertilizer that would have had to be manufactured and then transported to the shop. When we dispose of our "rubbish" by composting we're not contributing to landfill or to the environmental cost of transporting it there. Also see WORM FARM. Find out how to make compost without a compost bin on our "GREEN TIPS" page.