Words to know to consciously buy and avoid greenwashing

Sustainability

Sustainability is the condition of development capable of ensuring the satisfaction of the needs of the present generation without compromising the possibility of future generations to realize their own.

The concept of "sustainability" was introduced during the first UN Conference on the Environment in 1972, although only in 1987, with the publication of the so-called Brundtland report, was the goal of "sustainable development" clearly defined. The latter became the new development paradigm itself after the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development.

Fair trade

Fair trade is a form of trade that aims to guarantee the producer, and his employees, a fairer price (ensuring a higher revenue than that received from the traditional market ), also guaranteeing the protection of the territory.

It opposes the profit maximization practiced by large organized distribution chains and large producers. A typical feature of this trade is to sell the products to the final customer, limiting the chain of intermediaries.

Green hosting

The term "Hosting" defines a service that allows you to physically save and house the pages of a site on a server, making it accessible from the Internet to anyone who wishes to use it.

The server is also called host and is connected to the Internet in order to ensure access to the pages of the site using any browser for navigation, installed on a computer, smartphone or other device.

The companies where it is possible to buy hosting spaces and services are called "Web Hosting" or "Hosting Provider".

A hosting consumes a lot of energy. Green hosting is defined as using clean energy to power its website. Just like WHATaECO :)

Carbon footprint

The Carbon Footprint (CFP) is a useful parameter for measuring greenhouse gas emissions expressed in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2). Generally it refers to a product/service or to an organization but there are many calculators to get a rough idea of a person's CFP.

Carbon neutrality

Carbon neutrality is the result of the balance between greenhouse gas emissions generated and reabsorbed emissions: carbon neutrality is the final result of a process of quantifying, reducing and offsetting CO2 emissions generated by products, services, organizations and events.

Becoming carbon neutral therefore means taking on your own climate footprint and choosing to make your activities carbon free.

Vegan

"Lifestyle that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation and cruelty towards animals, be it related to food production, clothing or any other purpose."

- The Vegan Society

Cruelty-free

Not tested on animals.

Natural

It is opposed to artificial but does not inherently denote a positive quality: cyanide, arsenic and asbestos are natural. Yet even small amounts can kill you. The choice to write "100% natural" means nothing if not supported by other information.

Organic

From the American, "organic" means nothing. In Italian the translation corresponds to "biological".

But be careful! Check the presentation of an organic certification and in what percentage the product is organic. 20% organic cotton cannot really be considered organic!

Zero waste

With Zero Waste we mean a philosophy aimed at limiting the production of waste as much as possible until it is possible to almost eliminate the use of landfills and incinerators.

Plastic-free

Plastic-free means replacing or eliminating plastic where its use is disposable and there are reusable alternatives on the market that ensure hygiene, conservation and integrity of products and foods. All without plastic!

Biodegradable

Biodegradable are those materials that have the ability to decompose in nature thanks to the action of microorganisms and bacteria combined with sunlight or other natural atmospheric agents.

The biodegradable returns to nature in the form of mineral salts and other simple elements.

The wording "biodegradable" on a package or product essentially means nothing. The producer must indicate in what context his product biodegrades, in what percentage and in what time.

Compostable

Compostable is a material that, after degrading, is transformed into compost, a substance rich in nutritional properties usually used as a fertilizer to enrich the soil.

Be careful though, this term alone does not mean anything! More precisely, "biodegradable and compostable" is defined as that which complies with ALL the rules defined by the UNI EN 13432: 2002 standard. A material to be disposed of in an industrial composting plant:

- it must be 90% biodegradable in a maximum of 6 months under the conditions of an industrial composting plant;

- it must disintegrate at least 90% into fragments of less than 2 mm in 3 months;

- biodegradation must not have negative effects on the composting process, nor on the final compost.

Colour washing

Colorwashing is a generic term to identify companies that pretend to support social causes to promote their product or the brand itself.

Also known as Woke Washing it is divided into several categories of "color":

- Greenwashing: companies that invest more in communicating that they are sustainable rather than actually implementing actions of this type;

- Pinkwashing: companies that promote themselves through an apparent open attitude towards women's emancipation, hiding their practices of exploitation and / or inequality towards women;

- Rainbow-washing: companies that try to appear to support LGTBQIA + communities without implementing a behavior appropriate to the message communicated within their business;

- Brownwashing: activities that apparently support blacks, browns, indigenous and people of color without implementing anti-racist circumstances and / or BIPOC in their business.

SDGs

The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are the 17 sustainable development goals identified in the UN 2030 Agenda.

These objectives refer to a set of important development issues that take into account in a balanced way the three dimensions of sustainable development - economic, social and ecological - and aim to end poverty, to fight against inequality, to address climate change, to build peaceful societies that respect human rights.

Green

It means green. Color. Nothing more!

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