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Earth Charter (The)

The Earth Charter is a global declaration of fundamental ethical principals promoting sustainable living, sustainable human development, ecological respect, social justice, and a culture of peace and democracy in the 21st century.  The charter began as a United Nations initiative, but it was carried forward and completed as a people’s charter in 2000 by an independent international entity known as the Earth Charter Commission.

Earth Day

The United Nations celebrates Earth Day each year on 22 April.  Earth day was founded by John McConnell in 1969 and is a reminder to people to appreciate and respect the environment, and to promote awareness of significant environmental issues.

Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a dedicated "lights off" event that is held yearly around the world. It was started by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Sydney in 2007 and is now a dedicated event involving nearly 10,000 cities across 200 countries, held late March each year. 

Each year, citizens and businesses turn their lights off at 8.30pm as a show of solidarity in support of global conservation. 


Eco is now common language, but was originally a shortening of ecological. Something eco is typically something which doesn't harm the environment or at least harms the environment substantially less than similar alternatives. 

Compostable is very different to biodegradable.

Eco Friendly

Eco friendly traders generally utilize high quality, chemical free, sustainable products in eco-friendly packaging. By using and purchasing eco friendly products, you support these businesses to grow, produce and distribute even better products.

Look to see how these traders substantiate their claim of eco friendly to ensure it is consistent with your expectations.

Eco Marketing

Eco Marketing refers to any business that intentionally markets itself as being 'eco' (environmental) above and beyond its primary business practices or services, when in actuality the business is not environmental at all. This form of deception or ‘ecofraud’ takes advantage of consumers that assume anything marketed with eco-labeling is environmentally friendly.

Eco Tourism

Eco tourism operators commit to sustainable practices and provide high quality nature based tourism experiences.  Eco tourism supports conservation efforts and leaves minimal impact on the local natural environment.

Eco Village

An Eco Village is a planned development of multiple properties that have a combined low environmental impact, which have been designed and implemented by the developer or by individuals. The resulting properties can range from traditional to distinct, modern housing depending on planning requirements and resources available. 


Ecocert is an accreditation company based in France specialising in organic agricultural products. Ecocert certifies numerous products which are sold in Australia.

Ecological Footprint

An ecological footprint is an estimation of the amount of productive land required to provide all the natural resources consumed and absorb all the wastes created by an individual, household or population. The result is generally expressed in terms of how many Earth’s are needed for the global population to all have this same standard of living. 

Ecological Risk

Ecological risk refers to the potential for living organisms to be harmed by environmental pollution such as sewage, emissions, waste, accidental chemical releases, energy use, or natural resource depletion.

Ecological Solutions - Self Certified - Sustainability Standard

Ecological Solutions is a sustainability standard that an trader might claim. 

Ecological Solutions traders provide products that are ecological alternatives to what would typically be a synthetic chemical poisoning solution.

Ecological Sustainability

Ecological sustainability refers to the capacity of ecosystems to sustain their essential functions and processes, and preserve biodiversity in full measure for future generations.

Ecologically Sustainable Development

Ecologically sustainable development (ESD) is development that is implemented in such a way that the needs of the present at met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 


Ecology is the scientific study of the relationships and interactions between organisms and their natural environment.


Ecosystem refers to a community of animals, plants, microorganisms and fungi that function as an integrated system.

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are vehicles which use electricity (usually derived rechargeable batteries) as their energy source. Electric vehicles can be hybrids, plug-ins or plug-in hybrids, and require charging from a power source while the vehicle is stationary.

Electronic Waste

Electronic Waste, commonly referred to E-Waste, includes any electrical or battery-powered device destined for recycling, repurposing, or salvaging. E Waste includes small household appliances (vacuum cleaners, irons, electric shavers), computer equipment (laptops, printers and photocopiers) and everyday consumer items (iPods, mobile phones and tablets). 


Emission refers to pollution released into the atmosphere from smokestacks, vents, and surface areas of commercial or industrial buildings, residential chimneys, motor vehicles, or aircraft exhausts.

Emission Cap

An emission cap is a government standard designed to reduce and prevent growth in emissions from existing and future emissions sources. 

Emission Permit

An emission permit is a non-transferable or tradeable allocation of entitlements issued by a government to an individual organisation enabling them to release a specific amount of emissions.

Emissions Trading Scheme

Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is a plan which provides economic incentives to organisations to limit and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.  The government sets a cap on the amount of emissions permitted and issues an equivalent number of permits within the business market. Organisations that emit greenhouse gases above a permitted level must surrender their emissions permits or reduce their emissions.

Enabler of Self Sufficiency or Sustainability - Self Certified - Sustainability Standard

Enabler of self sufficiency or sustainability is a sustainability credential that an trader might claim. 

The products, gadgets or services provided by enabler traders assist people to create environments, purchase goods or access technology that allows them to live more sustainably.

Endangered Species

Endangered species describes animals, birds, fish, plants, and other living organisms that are threatened with extinction as a result of human activities or natural changes in their environment.

Energy Efficiency Innovation & Consumption Self Certified - Sustainability Standard

Energy efficiency is a sustainability standard that an trader might claim.

Energy efficient businesses typically run on solar power, use passive heating and cooling techniques and other strategies to actively minimize their energy footprint.

Environmental Audit

An environmental audit is an independent assessment conducted by a professional auditor, to determine if an organisation is complying with its own set of environmental policies and procedures.

Environmental Emergency

An environmental emergency is a situation caused by an accidental release or spill of hazardous substances that may threaten the safety of workers, residents, the environment, or property.

Environmental Equity

Environmental equity refers to the fair and equal treatment of people of all races, cultures, social status, and educational backgrounds with respect to the development and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

Environmental Impact

An environmental impact is any change to the natural environment whether harmful or beneficial, completely or partially resulting from human activity, industrial processes or natural disasters.

Environmental Packaging - Sustainability Standard

Environmental Packaging is a sustainability standard an trader might claim.

Environmentally thoughtful packaging would typically, in the case of food packaging, be biodegradable and / or compostable. It would also be non toxic and not leach chemicals into the product it contains or the ground after it is disposed of.

Some examples are paper from managed plantations or recycled; packaging from sugar cane pulp and bioplastics from renewable resources.

Other packaging may be reusable - glass, timber or metal. 

Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability refers to the effects that humans have on the environment. To work towards a sustainable future, humans are working reduce their environmental impact and to protect the Earth for future generations. Sustainable living actions include reducing resource consumption, waste to landfill, and emissions produced.

Environmental Technology

Environmental technology refers to technologies used to remove or prevent pollutants or contaminants from entering the environment such as pollution control devices and systems, waste treatment processes, storage facilities and site remediation technologies. 

Environmentally Preferable

Environmentally preferable refers to products or services that have a reduced environmental impact such as products made from recycled materials.


Ethanol is an alternative fuel for vehicles derived from corn and grain. It can be blended with petroleum for use in vehicles.

Ethical Consumerism

Ethical consumerism is the viewpoint and practice of buying products and using services that have a reduced impact on the environment as well as minimal harm to humans and animals.

Ethical Investment

Ethical investment, also known as socially responsible investment (SRI), refers to a range of investment strategies that encompass environmental and social measures alongside financial returns. 


E-waste is waste generated from the use of electronic products such as televisions, computers, printers and mobile phone devices. Because of the fast turnover in technology, obsolete electronic items are accumulating worldwide as a major global waste issue.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is a policy approach in which a producer is responsible for their product beyond the post-consumer stage of the product's life cycle.