Green Terminology

Biodegradable: Materials the will degrade as a result of natural bacterial activity; process requires bacteria, heat, moisture and time.

Compostable: Materials made of organic substances that will degrade under controlled conditions in a commercial composting facility.

Environmental Choice / Eco-Logo: EcoLogo is North America's most widely recognized and respected certification of environmental leadership. By setting standards and certifying products in more than 120 categories, EcoLogo helps you identify, trust, buy, and sell environmentally preferable ("green") goods and services.

Environmentally Preferred Products (EPP): Products or services that reduce the impact on human health and the environment.

Green Cleaning: Cleaning to protect and safeguard the health of humans while at the same time minimizing the impact to the environment.  The use of environmentally friendly cleaning products and equipment is required to achieve this.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED): A rating system developed by the USGBC which promotes certification of high performance and sustainable buildings nationwide.  Certifications include:

  • LEED EB - existing buildings
  • LEED NC - new construction
  • LEED CI - commercial & interior

Post-Consumer Fiber: A fiber that has served its intended use, having completed its life as a consumer item, and has been recovered from the solid waste stream.

Pre-Consumer Fiber: A mill / manufacturing scrap or printing waste that has been captured during the production process.

Polylactic Acid (PLA): A biodegradable, thermoplastic resin, derived from renewable resources (corn)

Recyclable: Materials that can be collected, separated or recovered from the solid waste stream for reuse in the manufacturing of another product.  This generally prevents the waste of potentially useful material, reduces the consumption of raw materials and energy.

Renewable Material: A natural resource that can replenish over time.

Source Reduction: Reducing the amount of natural resources used in the design, manufacturing, purchasing, delivering, or usage of a product.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: A government agency that provides funding, research, education and assessment efforts in support of environmental science.  The agency also develops and enforces environmental regulations in an effort to protect human health and the environment. 

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC): A third party organization that sets standards on the green building industry.  Its mission is to accelerate the development and implementation of green building practices and promote environmentally responsible buildings as well as healthy workplaces.

Proud members of:         ISSA       SEFA     FEDA