Green Glossary - Z

Glossary Index


Green Glossary - Z
Zero Emission Vehicles or ZEVs
Cars or vehicles that do not run on fossil fuel derived gasoline and consequently do not produce carbon emissions or air pollutants. Currently, zero emission vehicles can be powered by either electricity or hydrogen. Hybrid cars, strictly-speaking, are not zero emission vehicles but partial zero-emission vehicles. While hybrid vehicles produce much less emissions than conventional gas-powered cars, they still produce some pollutants as they go from being powered by both electricity and gas.
Zero Energy Building or ZEB
The term for buildings that do not consume energy from conventional power plants and that produce zero carbon emissions. A zero energy building does not rely on supply from the energy grid because it uses its own means to harvest energy on site, usually through solar, wind or hydro power. Some buildings that use very little electricity from the grid can be called near-zero energy buildings or ultra-low energy homes. The zero energy approach to modern buildings is meant to reduce carbon emissions and dependence of fossil fuels.
Zero Waste
The Institute for Local Self Reliance in Washington, DC, describes zero waste in the following terms: “Zero waste is a philosophy and a design principle for the 21st Century; it is not simply about putting an end to landfilling. Aiming for zero waste is not an end-of-pipe solution. That is why it heralds fundamental change. Aiming for zero waste means designing products and packaging with reuse and recycling in mind. It means ending subsidies for wasting. It means closing the gap between landfill prices and their true costs. It means making manufacturers take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products and packaging. Zero waste efforts, just like recycling efforts before, will change the face of solid waste management in the future. Instead of managing wastes, we will manage resources and strive to eliminate waste.”
Zone of Saturation
The arrangement or partitioning of land areas for various types of usage in cities, boroughs or townships. Currently, municipalities are faced with the task of updating zoning and land use regulations to strike a balance between economic viability and the protection of natural resources.
Refers to any infectious disease that can spread from animals to humans or conversely from humans to animals. Examples of zoonoses include: dengue fever acquired from mosquitoes, ebola virus transmitted by monkeys and the H1N1 flu virus acquired from pigs. Zoonosis is a concern for the emerging interdisciplinary field of conservation medicine which integrates human and veterinary medicine along with environmental sciences.