Ecomedia Letter: g

Gaia Hypothesis

A theory put forward by James Lovelock about all of the earth's systems working together to create the optimal conditions on earth for life. It compares the entire planet to a single organism.

Garbage Patch

Huge patches of garbage floating in the ocean. Some of these garbage patches have been found to be made of rubbish from as far back as the 1950's. Rubbish in the ocean is a danger to marine life that often eat plastic and then can not digest it. Animals can be killed this way or by becoming tangled in it, cutting off air or inhibiting swimming, so make sure your rubbish ends up in the bin, not down a drain, and on boat trips remember to take your rubbish with you!


A hobby, a job and a creative way to enjoy a little nature! Gardens have a huge range of scale, size and function. From a few plants in the home, to profit-making vegetable gardens, and gardens designed for communities or raised beds for disabled people all allow greenery into peoples lives. Try to plant species native to your area as they will be perfectly suited to your climate as well as supporting any local wildlife.

Genetic Diversity

The amount of variation within a species. A healthy variety of genes within a species helps the chance of that species withstand disease outbreaks and changes to their environments.

Genetically Modified Food (GM)

Food that has been genetically (in the genes) altered. See Genetically Modified Organisms.

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)

An organism that has been modified genetically. GMO is a controversial environmental topic because of unknowns in its long term effects, interaction with other species and safety. However, many genetically modified organisms have be altered to need less chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides as well as being better suited to thrive in a variety of climates such as drought. In these cases, it is argued that GM organisms can impact the environment less and feed more people.

Geothermal Energy

Energy that is gained from the heat generated by the earth. Electric power generation is achieved through heating water or another liquid by passing it close to an often underground heat source, then using the heated liquid, now a gas, to turn generators. This is especially practical in areas of high geothermal activity such as Iceland.


A slow moving river of ice. Glaciers exist over land and may be kilometers thick. They store huge amounts of fresh water and are seen as one of the indicators of climate change as they change in the amount of land they cover.

Global Warming

The increase in the temperature of the climate globally, due to changes in the composition of the atmosphere trapping more solar radiation. It is being caused by increases in green housegases, as a result of increasing burning of fossil fuels.


A way to describe how a movement, campaign, activity or event is driven or motivated by local people and community where the issue affects those people.

Green Appliance

Appliances that in someway have a lesser environmental impact than other appliances in the market. Usually they use less energy, but may also be made out of more environmentally friendly materials.

Green Architecture

Designing, building and retrofitting while keeping environmental impact minimal as a major goal.

Green Beauty

Taking care of your beauty needs in an environmentally friendly way, such as avoiding harsh chemical dyes for hair, using biodegradable shampoo and soap and looking into what is in your make-up.

Green Building

Taking care in the building process as well as designing, building and retrofitting while keeping a minimal environmental impact as goal.

Green Business

Business that takes into account their impact on the environment, their sustainability, and is committed to improving and continuing environmental principles in their operations.

Green City Living

You don't have to be in the midst of nature to minimize your impact. City living may actually be more sustainable as in general, less transport is needed. Living spaces are also smaller, allowing for greater efficiency in heating and cooling.

Green Cleaning

Many mainstream cleaners contain harsh chemicals that are bad for the environment and your health. Consider buying green alternatives that use ingredients such as citrus extracts, eucalyptus tree oil and vinegar to clean.

Green Collar

Jobs in the growing green industry! An industry including a wide range of sectors including jobs in all of the other green topics listed in our Ecopedia, as well as writers of green websites!

Green Commute

How you get to and from your daily work or school, affects your environmental impact. The greenest commute is no commute, so if you can work from home, do! Next best is walking and cycling, followed by public transport, car pooling and lastly driving on your own.

Green Computing

Using your computer or computer systems in a way that is limited in energy use and impact on the environment, so turn off your computer overnight and find out what energy settings you need for how you use your computer.

Green Corridor, Ring, Wedge and Island

Physical spaces in city and urban environments designed to keep green space within built-up areas. They can provide habitat for urban wildlife such as birds, cool the city, provide space for recreation, and help structure a livable sustainable city.

Green Cosmetics

Cosmetics that are in some way better for the environment than traditional ones. Many organic cosmetic companies claim to be a greener alternative when they may not be.

Green Design

Designing with sustainability and minimal environmental impact in mind.

Green Economy

A way of looking at the economy in terms of not only economic indicators but also how sustainable it is in terms of environmental and social impacts.

Green Energy

Energy that is better for environment than fossil fuels. Solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, and hydro are all included. It is debatable if Nuclear energy should be included here as it doesn't produce carbon, but does produce long-term dangerous waste.

Green Fashion

see Eco Chic

Green Gadget

Some kind of gadget that is greener than the alternatives on the market. It is not necessarily electronic and could be anything from a wind-up radio to a new compost bin.

Green Gift

Thinking about how what your giving impacts the environment. How is that product produced, how long will it be used and how will it be disposed of? Also the ideas of using services instead of products is often a green gift idea. Donating to green charities or sponsoring wildlife or forests in someone else's name is also a great idea. Give green and ask for green gifts for your birthday, wedding, Christmas or any other celebration where giving and receiving is part of the fun!

Green kid

Raising your children with knowledge of how their actions affect the environment.

Green Living

This encompasses everything you do! Living your life on a daily basis, while considering your interactions with the environment.

Green Packaging

Packaging of products is usually wasteful, so limiting the amount of packaging and ensuring the packaging can be recycled or biodegrade is a way to go green.

Green Product

Products that are considered more environmentally friendly than other alternatives in the market. Factors that contribute to a product being 'Green' include materials used, manufacturing processes, life cycle analysis and disposal. Standards and labeling schemes are becoming popular to ensure 'Green' products claims are backed up with facts.

Green Roof

Designing a roof so it works with the environment to make the inside environment more energy efficient and more comfortable for its inhabitants. It could be as simple as choosing a white roof or designing a roof with grass and wildflowers like some Hobbit house out of Lord of the Rings. Also see White Roof

Green Technology

Technology in a wide field of methods and materials that benefit the planet by lessening humans' impact on the environment.

Green Travel

See Ecotourism

Greenhouse Effect

The increase in temperature of the earth as a result of greenhouse gases in the upper atmosphere increasing. These greenhouse gases increase the amount of solar radiation that is trapped in the atmosphere. These gases are naturally occurring but the amounts have drastically increased since the industrial revolution. The result is a never before seen rate of change in greenhouse gas concentrations and an increase in temperatures.

Greenhouse Gas

Gases that are effective in trapping solar radiation in the atmosphere. The amounts of these gases have drastically increased within the past hundred years, with the increased burning of fossil fuels and forests, as well as increased agriculture output. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorocarbons.


The practice of making 'Green' or 'Eco' claims about a product, process or service that are false or backed up very weakly with facts and results. Greenwashing is a sneaky way for business to get the good PR of "going green" without actually doing much. So read carefully before you believe all you read.


Water that has been used in a household or business which is suitable to use again on gardens or plants or sometimes even in toilets. It is usually water that has been used in showers or sinks.

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