Glossary of Terms (I-L)

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Ice Age
A long-term drop in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, which leads to new or increased glaciers, continental ice sheets and polar ice sheets.

A substance used to line a building to help control interior temperatures.

Indigenous Flora
Vegetation that is native to the place where it is currently growing.

To dispose of something (e.g. waste) by burning it.

Impervious surface

A surface that cannot be penetrated by water such as pavement, rock, or a rooftop and thereby prevents infiltration and generates runoff.


The process or rate at which water percolates from the land surface into the ground.


A safety technique that uses ionizing radiation to kill bacteria, parasites, and other harmful elements which is not allowed in the organic production of food and cotton.


The degree to which a substance can pose a fire hazard. Examples of ignitable wastes include:

  • flammable liquids (flash point less than 60oC)
  • solids that can start burning through friction or absorption of moisture
  • certain compressed gases



No results.


Relating to movement. The kinetic energy of an object is the energy that it has because it is moving.


Local Produce
Products and services from your community. It is always better to "buy local", because such items and services require less energy to reach you.

Low Flow
Restricted water flow that helps to save water (e.g. low flow shower head)

A landfill site (also known as tip, dump or rubbish dump) is a place where waste materials are disposed of by burying them. This is the oldest form of waste management. As it decays, organic matter releases methane, a greenhouse gas so much more potent than carbon dioxide that it can even endanger nearby inhabitants. A disposal site where solid waste, such as paper, glass, and metal, is buried between layers of dirt and other materials in such a way as to reduce contamination of the surrounding land. Modern landfills are often lined with layers of absorbent material and sheets of plastic to keep pollutants from leaking into the soil and water, which is also called sanitary landfill.

Lowest Common Denominator Science (LCD Science)
This refers to the fact that out of several possible results, the one more commonly referred to as the best-case scenario becomes accepted.

Ladder Fuels:

Fuels (like shrubs and branches) that carry the fire from the ground to the tops of trees, the same way a person would climb a ladder.

Locally Grown

Definition varies, but generally means a product was grown in the local area. Whole Foods Market, for example, classifies products as “local” if they traveled seven or fewer hours from the farm to the store. Some people buy locally grown food because they like knowing their food was grown nearby and believe the reduction in transportation time (and therefore greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles) is better for the environment.

Low-Impact Dye

Dye that’s used in clothes processing that has minimal impact on the environment.


Lead is the fifth most widely used metal - it is commonly used in the electronics industry in lead-acid batteries, electronic components, cable sheathing and the glass of CRTs. It is toxic to humans and is particularly dangerous for young children because it can damage nervous systems and cause blood and brain disorders.

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