Green Vocabulary – a Short Tutorial

Going Green

Confused by some of the terms we throw around?  Not sure what the difference is between “green” and “organic,” “sustainable” and “environmentally friendly?”  Here’s a quick recap:

The word “green” is generally a reference to the “green movement,” which supports a leaning towards environmentalism and eco-friendly living.  Although environmentalism is a trend that can be traced throughout American history, the movement was given a jumpstart in the 1960s with the publication of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, and has continued to grow in popularity over the past several decades.  Nowadays, the word “green” connotes organic food and other goods, environmentally-friendly or recycled products, and sustainable lifestyles.

Some specific terms encompassed by the “green” lifestyle include:

Organic: This refers to the absence of synthetic chemicals.  Organic fruits and vegetables, for example, are grown without the use of manmade pesticides, hormones, or other chemicals.  Organic products, such as organic sunscreen or organic hair care products, are likewise made from natural materials and exclude unnatural chemicals.  Organic goods are generally considered to be healthier for the body and safer for the environment.

Sustainable: The word “sustainable” generally refers to a lifestyle that can be continued, or sustained, over a long period of time with minimal impact on the environment.  Sustainable lifestyles tend to include patterns such as recycling and using recycled goods, buying organic or environmentally safe products, home gardening, etc.  Sustainability essentially sums up the goal of the green movement, which is to care for our bodies and for the environment with healthy, eco-friendly practices.

Environmentally-friendly: This one is pretty straight-forward.  Environmentally-friendly products can be used without causing damage to the environment.  One can find environmentally-friendly options for almost any product – such as eco-friendly cleaning supplies, organic sunscreen, organic hair products, all-natural cosmetics, and recycled home accents.  The term “environmentally-friendly” can also refer to one’s overall lifestyle, and in this case would be synonymous with the word “sustainable” or the word “green.”

Interested in making these words a reality and creating a sustainable lifestyle?  Check out some of the ways you can “go green” with organic sunscreen, organic hair products, and other natural products.