On Green Terms: What they Mean

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Feeling bombarded by all the eco-this, green-that, sustainable-whatever out there? It is The Green Divas mission to help lighten the load and do some of the homework for our fans. To that end I will try to clear some of this up for you. Here is a list of terms and organizations and their meanings.

Aquaculture Stewardship Council(ASC) – The industry standard for identifying seafood raised using environmentally sound practices.

Agriculture Stewardship Associaltion (ASA) 

They describe themselves as a community-supported land trust dedicated to protecting our local farmland from encroaching development.


Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)This organization is  backed by companies such as Levi Strauss, Marks & Spencer, IKEA, H&M and Adidas, with the intention to transform the textile market and make it more sustainable. To learn more listen to our Sleeping Naked Is Green podscast on Wearing Cotton Undies. 


Certified Carbon NeutralWhen businesses fund projects that reduce the same amount of emissions they produce, neutralizing their carbon footprint.


Certified Naturally GrownFoods from organic farms that follow USDA Organic standards but don’t have the budget to apply for official status.



LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) – Developed by the US Green Building Council it consists of a rating system for the design, construction and operation of high performance buildings, homes and neighborhoods.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) – Local farms supported throughout the year by community members who receive seasonal produce and products from the farm they support when it’s harvest time.



Compostable– Products that are biodegrade quickly and completely.



Energy Star A  joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.


Food Alliance Certification – North America’s most comprehensive third-party certification for the production, processing, and distribution of sustainable food.


Green Seal – Certifying goods and services that meet the highest standards of environmental quality and performance.
Green Star Certified –  Independent 3rd party verifier of the United States Energy Council, an endorsed program for businesses, organizations, products, cities and individuals that are dedicated to waste reduction, energy conservation, recycling and pollution prevention.

Rainforest Alliance – Products made by methods that do not add to global deforestation and environmental distruction.


  • USDA Biobased – From the USDA Biopreferred progam existing to increase purchases of biobased products with the expectation of reducing petroleum consumption, increasing the use of renewable resources, better managing of carbon cycles, which may contribute to reducing adverse environmental and health impacts.

Certified Grass-Fed – Meat from ruminant animals raised on a diet of 100% grass and forage.




USDA Organic –  The USDA organic seal verifies that irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, and genetically modified organisms were not used.


Getting to know some of these organizations and terms will help all of us make healthier choices for your families and the planet.

About the author / 

green diva lisa

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