When we talk about the environment people use a lot of big and new words that you might not know what they mean. You need to know what they mean so that you can really understand why they are so important. If you don’t know what a word means, ask someone – a teacher, your parent or look it up in a dictionary or on the internet. Sometimes if you don’t know what a word means and you just skip over it, you miss more than you think.
To help you understand the things I talk about here I made an eco-dictionary to define some of the words and terms I use when I talk about being eco.
Landfill: A landfill is a big area where garbage is sent. Garbage dumped in landfills is run over by lots of heavy equipment to flatten it down as much as possible, then covered with soil. When landfills fill up, we need to find new places to put our garbage. We are running out of room to do this. This is why it is so important that we Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – we need to keep as much out of the landfills as possible so that they don’t fill up quickly and unnecessarily.
Reduce: The first of the 3 Rs. Use less stuff so that less goes in the garbage and so that less new things have to be made in the first place. This is a big step in being eco.
Reuse: The second of the 3 Rs. Use things over again for the same purpose (like a waterbottle or shopping bag) When you reuse, you also create less garbage.
Recycle: The third of the 3 Rs. Make new things out of old things. You can use something for a new purpose, like an empty jar for a pencil holder. You can also donate things to people who need them.
Natural Resource: Something that happens in nature that is used for fuel, food, energy or other beneficial service..
Non-Renewable resource: A resource that there is a limited amount of in the environment like oil or coal. Once it’s used up it’s gone forever.
Renewable Resource: A resource that you can make more of like trees because they can be planted and grow.
Foodweb: Every living thing, including humans, is part of a foodweb. A foodweb is also called a foodchain and in simple words it’s what eats what.
Ecosystem: A community of plants, animals and small organisms that live, feed, interact and reproduce in the same environment.
Biodiversity: A term used to describe the variety of life found on earth.
Eco-friendly: Means to be kind, considerate and respectful to the earth. Treat the earth like you would treat a neighbour, family member or friend.
Conserve: This means save. You are conserving (or saving) energy when you turn off the lights when you are not using them. You are saving power, resources and money when you take care to conserve.