The Language of Sustainability & Top 101 Green Initiative Keywords

October 5, 2018

sustainability keywords

Language is power and words matter. Frames are mental structures that shape the way we see the world. The goals we seek, the plans we make, the way we act, and what counts as a good or bad outcome of our actions and reframing is all about changing the way the public and we ourselves sees the world. “It is changing what counts as common sense and getting language that fits your worldview. It is not just language. The idea is primary — and the language carries those ideas, evokes those ideas.” In applying framing to the issues that many of us are typically dealing with, examples according to might include the shifts in our relationship with our surroundings:

1. Change “natural resource management” to “regeneration of nature” or “natural resilience.” “Management” reinforces a false sense that we know exactly what to do and how nature is going to respond to our actions. We clearly have a wealth of knowledge on work with natural processes, and it is clear that our actions very often have unintended consequences, to due to the complexities of natural systems. “Resource” conveys that nature is something to be used, rather than our life-support system. As alternative terms, even restoration, a decent improvement, doesn’t conceptually support the dynamic ongoing process that is ecology, but, rather, restoring to some static state. Terms like regeneration and resilience better illustrate the end goal of re-establishing the capacity to adapt, flexibility, and ongoing processes that can evolve over time.

2. Change “proper stewardship” to “proper interaction” or “healthy relationship,” for the same reason as the above. Our relationship with nature is rightly a dynamic, two-way relationship, and so we shouldn’t communicate that we are managing or stewarding nature.

3. Provide context for “sustainability,” in that it means the ability to continue into the indefinite future by respecting the Earth’s ecosystems, its limits, and providing space for the other beings on the planet to exist. Otherwise, we create perverse concepts like sustainable growth, as if we can continue unlimited growth in the face of limits.

4. Change any language that implies economic growth is always good. In an economy predicated on unsustainable uses of nature, is economic contraction and recession necessarily bad? Or is recession a necessary correction guided by the laws of feedback? During this relatively serious recession of 2008 and 2009, these questions never entered mainstream media or politics in a significant way, yet are the real questions that we as a society need to work through.

Did you know even some forest fires are good? Read our previous post on the current state of wildfires here.

  1. sustainability – 90,500 volume
  2. global warming
  3. water
  4. earth
  5. nature
  6. solar energy
  7. polar bears
  8. recycling
  9. pollution
  10. green
  11. solar power
  12. endangered species
  13. air pollution
  14. water pollution
  15. solar panels
  16. electric cars
  17. wind energy
  18. climate change
  19. tankless water heater
  20. wind power
  21. recycle
  22. geothermal energy
  23. hybrid cars
  24. waste management
  25. deforestation
  26. tankless water heaters
  27. al gore
  28. planet earth
  29. epa (environmental protection agency)
  30. greenhouse effect
  31. environment
  32. effects of global warming
  33. planet
  34. solar
  35. science news
  36. fossil fuels
  37. oil prices
  38. cause of global warming
  39. wildlife
  40. natural resources
  41. sustainability
  42. solar cells
  43. alternative energy
  44. water heaters
  45. green guy
  46. mother earth news
  47. solar panel
  48. earth day
  49. bottled water
  50. climate map
  51. carbon dioxide
  52. climate graphs
  53. human nature
  54. what is global warming
  55. water conservation
  56. thermal energy
  57. free energy
  58. ocean pollution
  59. renewable energy
  60. endangered species list
  61. price of oil
  62. ecology
  63. popular science
  64. organic
  65. peak oil
  66. going green
  67. fuel cells
  68. kyoto protocol
  69. causes of global warming
  70. electronic waste
  71. solar powered cars
  72. land pollution
  73. composting
  74. energy star
  75. an inconvenient truth
  76. department of energy
  77. hybrid vehicles
  78. environmental issues
  79. solar water heater
  80. recycling facts
  81. greenhouse gases
  82. global warming facts
  83. compost
  84. organic food
  85. green building
  86. consequences of global warming
  87. science magazine
  88. solar cell
  89. mother earth
  90. go green
  91. genetically modified food
  92. solar dryer
  93. earth science dictionary
  94. national wildlife federation
  95. earth science
  96. noise pollution
  97. carbon footprint
  98. energy conservation
  99. hybrid car
  100. conservation
  101. photovoltaic