Are you wondering what some of the terms in the Green/Sustainable world really mean? If you look up some of the terms in Wikipedia Encylopedia, here is what you will find. This is only the beginning. There are so many items to building Green.
Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earths Natural Resources and his/her own resources.
Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption and diet.
Proponents of sustainable living aim to conduct their lives in manners that are consistent with sustainability, in natural balance and respectful of humanity's symbiotic relationship with the Earth's natural ecology and cycles.
The practice and general philosophy of ecological living is highly interrelated with the overall principles of sustainable development.
Rainwater harvesting is the gathering, or accumulating and storing, of rainwater.
Rainwater harvesting has been used to provide drinking water, water for livestock, water for irrigation or to refill aquifers in a process called groundwater recharge. Rainwater collected from the roofs of houses, tents and local institutions, or from specially prepared areas of ground, can make an important contribution to drinking water.
In some cases, rainwater may be the only available, or economical, water source. Rainwater systems are simple to construct from inexpensive local materials, and are potentially successful in most habitable locations.
Roof rainwater can be of good quality and may not require treatment before consumption. However some rooftop materials may produce rainwater that is harmful to human health.
Household rainfall catchment systems are appropriate in areas with an average rainfall greater than 200mm per year, and no other accessible water sources (Skinner and Cotton, 1992).
There are a number of types of systems to harvest rainwater ranging from very simple to the complex industrial systems. Generally, rainwater is either harvested from the ground or from a roof.
The rate at which water can be collected from either system is dependent on the plan area of the system, its efficiency, and the intensity of rainfall.
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies.
Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available renewable energy on earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.
Solar powered electrical generation relies on heat engines and photovoltaics. Solar energy's uses are limited only by human ingenuity.
A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, solar hot water, solar cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes. To harvest the solar energy, the most common way is to use solar panels.
Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy.
Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy.
Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.
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