Credit: Flickr / uzhik

The votes are in, and “green” is out! The word, that is…

“People and companies employing the word ‘green’ in environmental contexts are guilty of ‘misuse, overuse, general uselessness,’ according to Lake Superior State University in Michigan, which last week unveiled its results from an annual survey—its 34th—of words that should be banished…” (read more)

By those criteria, “sustainable” should probably accompany “green” in banishment from 2009’s eco-lingo. Although I don’t expect that these words will actually disappear from our vocabulary anytime soon, I do think that there are a few new eco-buzzwords that deserve some attention this year.

I couldn't resist picking out my favourties from a couple of New Year’s posts that caught my eye: 2009-Speak and Green Buzzwords. (Davin, as the new kid on the block, fully grasping these terms could catapult you into Breakfast Club coolness).

Global weirding: This slang phrase, coined by Hunter Lovins, describes the unusual and obscure weather patterns caused by global warming. I think Vancouver’s recent snowstorm was a prime example of global weirding.

Ecosexual love between vegan bike
commuters who recycle. (Photo courtesy

Ecosexual: persons who are environmentally conscious (i.e., eat and wear organic, recycle, commute by bike, eat vegan, and so on) and select their partners based on these shared values and concerns.

Energyexia: Anorexia meets energy—following a regimen to drastically minimize one’s carbon footprint by avoiding kilowatts at all costs and collecting negawatts. For example, No Impact Man’s quest to embrace his inner treehugger amongst New York’s skyscrapers puts him on the path of energyexia.

Edible estates

Edible estates: Get rid of your lawn, and put in a vegetable patch! Who needs a lawn when you can have fresh tomatoes?

Precycle: Minimizing waste by avoiding over-packaged purchases, thereby decreasing the amount of garbage that even enters the home. Taking your own chopsticks when you go out for sushi counts!

Eco-embedded: When government or business set a standard for eco-friendly practices that leave their citizens or consumers no choice but to participate. Capers/Wholefoods have eco-embedded plastic bag-free shopping.

Green collar job: A job that can support a family and provide a career path with upward mobility in a sector that reduces waste and pollution and benefits the environment. The term proliferated during the American election, and I'm hoping that it will have an impact in our upcoming provincial election as well!

Upcyclers millegomme is an international collective
of tire crafters who created this outdoor seating area.

Upcycling: Recycling makes waste into new products; upcycling gives waste a whole new use. Extreme upcyclers may turn tires into chairs, while moderates might be a bit craftier, and lightweights would pounce on a toothbrush bracelet.

For tips on how to use this new eco-lingo, Davin has kindly provided some working scenarios...