20 Eco Words You Should Know


Have you ever read or heard people talking about our environment and wondered what some of the words and phrases they are using actually mean? Well, you’re in the right place! Below are some popular words and phrases you may have already heard or will hear, defined in a way that’s a little easier to understand. *After looking over our definitions, let us know in the comments what words you still want to learn about. Teacher-Friendly Printable Worksheets:

Eco Vocabulary Printable
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Environment (noun) the natural world; it is the place and surroundings where we and other living things live; sometimes this word is used to describe a large area and sometimes it describes a very small area Natural Resources (noun) something found in nature that can be used by humans to make money; examples include: water, coal, forests/trees Pollution (noun) making something dirty or not pure and clean; this can make it unsafe Climate (noun) the average weather conditions of a place over many years Fossil Fuels (noun) a natural fuel like coal or gas that is deep in the ground, it was formed from the remains of living organisms from millions of years ago Climate Change (noun) a change in global or regional climate patterns; much of the change started during and after the Industrial Revolution and is caused by large amounts of carbon dioxide in the air from burning fossil fuels Global Warming (noun) warming of the earth’s atmosphere and oceans that is thought to be caused by burning fossil fuels Carbon Dioxide (noun) a heavy colorless gas that is formed by burning fuels, by the breakdown or burning of animal and plant matter, and by the act of breathing and that is absorbed from the air by plants in photosynthesis Greenhouse effect (noun) warming of the lower atmosphere of the earth; this happens when heat from the sun is absorbed by the earth and is then given off again but cannot leave our atmosphere because of the carbon dioxide and other gases in the air Greenhouse Gas (noun) a gas that adds to the greenhouse effect by absorbing heat Emissions (noun) something that is given off; often from gas Endangered Species (noun) a type of animal or plant that is at serious risk of extinction Carbon Footprint (noun) the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds given off due to the use of fossil fuels by a person, group, ect. Carbon Neutral (adjective) being carbon neutral means you balance the amount of carbon you put into the air by getting rid of the same amount of carbon; sometimes this is done by planting trees. Renewable energy (noun) energy from a source that is not used up when used, such as wind or solar power Deforestation (verb) to clear of forests Biodegradable (adjective) able to be broken down by living things into very small harmless parts Compostable (adjective) able to be made into decayed organic materials that can be used as a plant fertilizer Biodiversity (noun) the existence of many different kinds of plants and animals in an environment Sustainable (adjective) not using up our natural resources in order to keep an ecological balance