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GYR Dictionary and Site Index

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Greening your routine should be a personal adventure.  There is no right or wrong way to start.  We have structured this website to encourage you to explore topics in any order you like.  If you are looking for specific information, try this alphabetized index. Listings are linked to pages where you can get started with various topics, and each is defined to help you learn more about sustainability! If you don't see what you need here, then try the City of Fort Lauderdale A to Z Guide.

A Special Note to Students: Feel free to use our dictionary for homework help. If you and your teacher think that we should add a few words, make a list and send it to us by clicking the [+] Feedback button on the top right part of this page.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Adaptation - Areas that experience coastal flooding and that are vulnerable to the related impacts of rising sea levels

Adaptation Action Areas - An optional comprehensive plan designation for areas that experience coastal flooding and that are vulnerable to the related impacts of rising sea levels for the purpose of prioritizing funding for infrastructure and adaptation planning

Air Quality Index (AQI) - The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. The AQI focuses on health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air.

Air toxins - Air toxins or toxic air pollutants are those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental effects.  Most air toxins originate from human-made sources, including mobile sources (e.g., cars, trucks, buses) and stationary sources (e.g., factories, refineries, power plants), as well as indoor sources (e.g., some building materials and cleaning solvents).

Alternative Energy -Energy sources that do not depend on coal , oil or natural gas. Such energy sources are constantly replenished or renewed, allowing us to harness their energy potential without depleting them.  For example, solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, current and wave energy and hydrogen energy.

Alternative Fuel Vehicle -  Vehicles that utilize other source of fuel such as ethanol based fuel , ether, kerosene and bio-diesel. 

America Recycles Day -America Recycles Day is an annual, nationwide celebration of our success in reducing waste.  Each year, on November 15, cities, businesses, schools and other organizations around the United States offer educational opportunities and commemorative events dedicated to recycling, reuse, upcycling and anything related to conserving material resources.

Aquifer - An underground layer of water-bearing or permeable rock containing openings that liquids and gases can pass through.  Aquifers act as reservoirs for groundwater when they fill with water from rain or snow.  Wells drilled into aquifers provide water for drinking, agriculture, and industrial uses. 

Arbor Day - J. Sterling Morton, a former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, founded Arbor Day 135 years ago. Arbor is the Latin word for trees, so it makes sense that Morton wanted people to plant trees on this day. Today it is held annually on the last Friday of April.

Art the Cart - I am a big, bright blue, box on wheels. My favorite thing to do is to collect recycling. Well, really my favorite thing to do is to teach kids how to recycle.

Automotive Waste - Any waste produced during use, maintenance or decommissioning of a vehicle, including but not limited to tires, motor oil and other lubricants, fuel, belts and hoses, filters, spare or used parts, and auto batteries.  It is usually classified as hazardous waste and requires special handling and disposal.


Beach Erosion - Occurs when waves and currents from storms wash away sand from the beach, making the beach narrower and lower in elevation.

Beach renourishment - Large volumes of beach-compatible sand are brought in from outside sources to restore an eroding beach.

Bike Sharing - Bike sharing allows you to have a bicycle when you need it, and to give it back when you don't. There are sharing programs offered by private businesses throughout our region.

Biodegradable - A "biodegradable" product has the ability to break down, safely and relatively quickly, into the raw materials of nature and disappear into the environment.

Biohazards - Biohazards or Biomedical wastes include any liquid or solid waste that may present a threat of infection to humans. 

Biscayne Aquifer - A layer of shallow, permeable limestone underneath South Florida, and our area's main water resevoir.

Brackish - Water that is saltier than fresh water, but does not have content as high as salt water. 

Bulk Waste - Large household items such as such as appliances, furniture, carpet, mattresses, large toys, cabinetry, fans and lighting, architectural details and tree trimmings.

Buying Local - Making purchases from a locally owned business, or from non-local outlets which source most or all of their goods and services. It is one of many tools that a consumer can use to make purchasing more sustainable.


CCCP - Cross-Connection Control Plan, helps to prevent unwanted contaminants to enter into our water supply.

CFL - Fluorescent and Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) contain mercury, this type of light bulb should be disposed properly to prevent any mercury vapor release. 

Carbon monoxide - A colorless, odorless, toxic gas that is formed as a product of the incomplete combustion of carbon or a carbon compound.  It is also formed when gasoline is burned in car engines.

Carcinogen - A substance that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer.

Certified Wildlife Habitat - Certification provided by the National Wildlife Federation.

Climate - Generally prevailing weather conditions of a region, including but not limited to temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, and winds, throughout the calendar year, and averaged over a period of many years.  Climate is not the same as weather.  Fort Lauderdale’s climate is considered semi-tropical.

Climate Change - A long term shift in the Earth’s, or a region’s, climate.  Climate change means different things in different parts of the world.  While some cities need to plan for sea level rising, others have expanding shorelines.  While some deal with drought and brush fires, others need to intensify flood planning.  But just like the rest of our planet, Fort Lauderdale’s climate is warming over the long term, and this produces three distinct phenomena in our area: a rising sea, a slight escalation in temperature and the lengthening of our hot season, and also a change to our rainfall patterns and to the intensity of storms.  

Coastal flooding - Inundation of low-lying coastal areas, generally caused by either high tides or a storm.

Connectivity - To make neighborhoods more walkable, improving traffic flow, supporting alternative fuel networks, and planning a diverse array of travel options which are connected to the wider regional system.

Conservation - Reduction in the consumption of resources such as energy, water and air. 

Clean Marina - Local marinas can help reduce this impact by adopting best management practices outlined in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division's Clean Marina Program (CMP), and by teaching these to boaters. 

Clean Water Act - In 1972, Congress enacted the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, known as the Clean Water Act, to prevent pollutants from reaching our nation’s waterways. 

Community Garden - Community gardens are shared spaces used for growing food. In urban areas like ours, where not everyone has the space for planting his own vegetable beds, community gardens can fill a real need.

Community Wildlife Habitat - The Certified Community Wildlife Habitat™ program is designed to encourage localities to achieve a critical mass of habitat suitable for native species.

Complete Street - A complete street is designed to enable safe and convenient access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.  A complete street may include: sidewalks, bike lanes (or wide paved shoulders), special bus lanes, public transportation stops, frequent and safe crossing opportunities, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals, and more.

Compost - An organic material that can be used as a soil amendment or as a medium to grow plants. Mature compost is a stable material with a content called humus that is dark brown or black and has a soil-like, earthy smell. It is created by: combining organic wastes (e.g., yard trimmings, food wastes, manures); adding bulking agents (e.g., wood chips) as necessary to accelerate the breakdown of organic materials; and allowing the finished material to fully stabilize and mature through a curing process (U.S. EPA).

Curbside Service - The City of Fort Lauderdale provisions four types of curbside solid waste services: garbage, recycling,yard waste and bulk trash.  Garbage is collected twice per week, recycling and yard waste are picked up once per week, and bulk trash is collected monthly. 


Drought - a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, a shortage of water. 


Earth Day - Created in 1970 by the Congress following the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act with the purpose to promote environmental conservation and recognize environmental initiatives. 

Earth Hour - is a worldwide movement created by the World Wide Fund for Nature to reduce power consumption for one hour. 

Electronic Waste (eWaste) -  includes, but is not limited to: batteries, light bulbs, cell phones and other telephones, computers, tablets, audio components, video game systems,televisions and monitors, that can be recycle. 

Electric Vehicle Charging Station - Charging station are available for those residents with electric vehicles. 

Energy Conservation - Reduction of energy usage such as electrical or fuel consumption. 

Energy Saving Tree Placement - The right tree planted in the right place not only cools the air outside, but can significantly lower the temperature inside a building. A tree can shade your house or business, the surrounding pavers and even HVAC and pool units, resulting in more efficient use of energy.

Energy Star® - A program created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy to certify and create a standard for energy efficient consumer products. Products are generally for computers, kitchens, lighting, and commercial offices.

Environmental Crimes Unit - The City of Fort Lauderdale's Environmental Crimes Unit focuses investigative resources on cases that involve negligent, knowing, or willful violations of city, state, and federal environmental law. 

Environmental Protection Agency- Also known as EPA, was created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws approved by Congress.

Environmentally Conscious Purchasing - Choosing to buy products that limit their impact on the environment in all stages of the product’s life-cycle.  

ESCO - Energy Service Companies.

ESMS - ESMS is a set of management processes and procedures that allow an organization to analyze, control and reduce the environmental impact of its activities, projects and services as well as operate with greater efficiency and control.

Exotic Pets - For purposes of discussing sustainability, exotic animals are those not historically found naturally in our region.

Exotic Species - A plant or animal that was introduced either on purpose or on accident to an ecosystem or region where it is not historically found.  Exotic species can be, but are not always, invasive species. In this context they are the opposite of native species.


FGBC (Florida Green Building Coalition) - The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) is a nonprofit Florida corporation dedicated to improving the built environment.

Fertilizer - Any material of natural or synthetic origin that is applied to soils or to plants to supply plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants.

FIRM (Florida Insurance Rate Map) - This map is used to determine your flood zone according to FEMA standards. 

Flood - Flooding is a natural phenomenon that occurs when water overflows or inundates land that is normally dry. 

Flood Zone - The land surrounding a body of water is known as a floodplain. In this area, water collects, pools, and flows during the course of natural events. Such areas are classified as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), and are located in a “100-year flood zone.” 

Floodplain - The land surrounding a body of water is known as a floodplain. 

Florida Building Code - The Florida Building Code lays our these requirements for structure, energy conservation, fuel line installations, plumbing, mechanical, test protocols, accessibility and more. Each of the requirements must be satisfied and inspected. 

Florida-Friendly Landscaping -This is a landscaping practice utilizing Florida-friendly drought resistant plants and trees, which is an essential part of conserving, protecting and restoring water quality and supply.  There are nine Florida-friendly landscaping principles. 

Food Waste - Food that is intended for human consumption, but never actually eaten, is considered food waste. This includes food that is not shipped from farms, food spoiled or lost in transport, food left on store shelves, food unused in home and industrial kitchens, as well as leftovers that are never eaten.

FOG - Fats, oils and grease for household and commercial use.  FOG should never be disposed of down sinks, toilets, stormwater other drains as they can pollute our water and waterways and clogs our pipelines.

Fossil Fuel - Non-renewable resources formed over the course of millions of years from the buried remains of life-forms such as plants.  These resources are better known as oil, natural gas, and coal.  

Free Chlorination - The process of using chlorine during our preventive maintenance to conserve drinking water quality.

Fuel Economy - The fuel efficiency relationship between the distance traveled and the amount of fuel consumed by the vehicle.  Consumption can be expressed in terms of volume of fuel to travel a distance, or the distance traveled per unit volume of fuel consumed.


Garbage - More commonly known as trash or garbage, consists of everyday items we use and then throw away, such as product packaging, grass clippings, furniture, clothing, bottles, food scraps, newspapers, appliances, paint, and batteries. This comes from our homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses.

Global Warming - A pervasive increase in the average atmospheric temperature of Earth.  

Greenway - A strip of vegetated, undeveloped land near an urban area, set aside for recreational use or environmental protection.

Green building - The practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction (U.S. EPA).

Green Building Standards - Are standards with the purpose to make homes, buildings and commercial facilities use less water, energy and reduce emissions.  

Green Label - Products that are certified by a recognized organization committed to identify products that are made of recyclable materials, are low energy consumption, biodegradable or other.  

Green Product - A product that has less environmental impact or is less detrimental to human health than its traditional product equivalent.

Green Space - Green spaces support all three aspects of sustainability. They're good for the planet because they cool the earth, remove air toxins, provide wildlife habitat, reduce soil erosion and stormwater runoff, and can support biodiversity if planned carefully. 

Green Team - The Green Team dates back to the City’s receipt of Energy Efficiency Block Grant (EECBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Energy.  Initially called the Resource Sustainability Group (RSG), it was established in 2009.  Its charge was to guide the investment of EECBG funds to meet the requirements of reduced fossil fuel emissions, reduced total energy use and improved energy efficiency in a variety of sectors.

Green Your Routine - A call to action for Fort Lauderdale’s neighbors to focus on the “triple bottom line” and live, work and play sustainably.

Green Your Routine Action Map - Our Green Your Routine ACTION Map is a fun and easy tool for seeing our community’s progress towards sustainability. It is a showcase of what we are doing right in Fort Lauderdale, and a way to explore the diversity of approaches. It is also an indicator of our performance towards the goals in our Sustainability Action Plan (SAP).

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) - Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. There is a heightened number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere such as Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, and Hydrofluoro Carbons which are produced by burning fossil fuels, solid waste, industrial processes, and the transport of coal, gas, or oil among other things.  

Greening Our Routine - The City of Fort Lauderdale’s Environmental and Sustainability Management System focusing on the implementation of ISO14001 standards to internal operations.

Ground level ozone - Ground level ozone is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight.  Emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of NOx and VOC (U.S. EPA).



Heat Island Effect - Urban areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas.  Heat islands can affect communities by increasing summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, heat-related illness, and water quality (U.S. EPA).

High Density Development - A high density and compact building, such as a high-rise apartment building, occupies less space on the ground per capita than does a low-rise multi-building complex. Reduced building footprints mean room for more green space next to and around buildings. A smaller footprint also correlates with a small expanse of roof, which can make cooling a building and the area around it more efficient.

Historic Preservation - Historic Preservation is “green” because when you keep a historic building intact instead of tearing it down and building something new in its place you are reducing waste that would come from demolition and saving natural resources and greenhouse gas emissions from new construction.  Adaptive reuse of existing historic buildings is a cornerstone of green building in that the entire building is essentially recycled. 

Household Hazardous Waste - Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients are considered to be household hazardous waste (HHW). Examples of these products are paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides because they contain potentially hazardous ingredients.


Idling - Running a vehicle’s engine when the vehicle is not in use.  Idling should be avoided when possible, to reduce GHG emissions.

Invasive Species




Landfill - A place where solid waste is disposed of, buried, or treated. 

Lead - A naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust.  It can be toxic to humans and animals causing of health effects.  Much of our exposure comes from human activities including the use of fossil fuels including the past use of leaded gasoline and lead-based paint in homes, as well as some types of industrial facilities.  Lead can also be emitted into the environment from industrial sources and contaminated sites, such as former lead smelters (U.S. EPA).

LEED®   -Standards for green building and better understanding of those material used to reduce energy consumption and conserve resources. 

LED Lighting - Light-Emitting diode, or LED, is an electronic device that emits light when an electrical current is passed through it.  LED lights are known to emit less heat and have longer life spans than incandescent or compact florescent bulbs.

Life Cycle Impact Analysis - Is a technique to assess the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product, process, or services.

Livability - Generally refers to the combination of the qualities and elements of a city that make it a desirable place to live.

Living Holiday Tree - Living trees keep their root systems, come in pots, and can be transplanted into the ground after the holidays.


MRF - Material Recovery Facility. Recyclable materials are separated by category, packed and shipped for  recycling. 

MS4 - Separate Storm Sewer System Program. The City of Fort Lauderdale operates and maintains a municipal separate storm sewer system, which is a publicly-owned system comprised of ditches, curbs, catch basins, storm drains, and underground pipes that collect or transport stormwater and discharge it to the state’s surface waters.

Manatee - Manatees are large, slow moving marine mammals that are gentle in nature. The Florida Manatee is a subspecies of the West Indian manatee that lives in Florida, and up the southeastern coast into Georgia and the Carolinas.

Material Recovery - The process of separating or removing desirable materials form the waste stream. 

Medical Waste - discarded or unwanted medications that are not to be consume and will be disposed as waste. 

Methane -Toxic chemical commonly produced by the decomposition of waste. 

Migration - A natural process by which entire colonies, herds or populations of wildlife move, sometimes seasonally, and usually in search of food. South Florida is in a major migration path for many birds, butterflies and other animals.

Mitigation - is the process to eliminate undesirable behavior, plant, animal or pollutant.  

Mixed Use - Development that combines residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, and when appropriate, industrial uses.

Monofilament Recycling - is the proper disposal of mono-filament fishing cord. 

Mulch - Mulch can be made of organic products or synthetic. It works by slowing the evaporation of water, which makes it great conservation toll. Mulch keeps fragile plants roots warm on those few cooler weeks we have, and it protects them from harsh sun in the summer. 


NPDES - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The permit requires the City of Fort Lauderdale to develop and implement various stormwater management programs, monitor pollution of the City's waterways, and increase public awareness to generate proactive behaviors that prevent stormwater pollution.

Native species - A plant of animal that exists in an ecosystem or region naturally without human introduction. 

Natural Pest Control - To use non toxic product for pest control. 

Nearshore Hard Bottom - Reefs found in less than 15 feet of water and are composed of tube-building polychaete worms or coquina shells.

Nitrogen oxides - Can refer to a binary compound of oxygen and nitrogen, or a mixture of such compounds.  The larger group of nitrogen oxides is nitrogen dioxide.  It forms quickly from emissions from cars, trucks and buses, power plants, and off-road equipment.  In addition to contributing to the formation of ground-level ozone, and fine particle pollution, nitrogen dioxide is linked with a number of adverse effects on the respiratory system (U.S. EPA).

Non-renewable resource - A resource that cannot be replenished in a human time-frame.  The four non-renewable energy sources used most often are: oil and petroleum products, natural gas, coal, and uranium.


Ozone - Ozone is an molecule found in the air that protects the ultraviolet rays for penetrating the earth. 


PACE - Property Assessed Clean Energy

Painted Intersection - A public art project designed specifically to be applied to the street at intersecting roads and serving the dual purpose of placemaking and calming traffic.

Parklet - Temporary installment in parallel parking spaces that extend the sidewalk to give people access to more public space.  Parklets can provide seating, plants, bicycle parking and art and are funded by neighboring businesses and community organizations etc.

Particulate matter - Also known as particle pollution or PM is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets.  Particle pollution is made up of a number of components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles (U.S. EPA).

Pedestrian-Friendly - Fort Lauderdale is among the few Florida cities in which a car is not necessarily a requirements. Our close-knit community of neighborhoods makes walking and cycling from home to work and to entertainment a real possibility. 

Pesticides - Is any substance use to kill, repel or control certain types of plants or animal life classified as pest. 

Pet Waste - Droppings from dogs, cats and other commonly kept animals, such as exotic birds, rabbits, goats, and chickens.

Photovoltaic system - An arrangement of components designed to supply usable electric power for a variety of purposes, using the Sun as the power source.  

Placemaking - A movement that envisions public spaces as the heart of every community and city.  It involves shaping of the environment to facilitate social interaction and by doing so; improve a community’s quality of life.  

Plastics - Synthetic material made from a wide range of polymers. Plastics are classified by numbers based on their recycling capabilities.  

Pollinator - Pollinators are animals that visit plants for food and shelter taking pollen with them on their backs, legs, and wings. When the pollinator lands on another plant, they transfer pollen from the pollen producing male structure (the anthers) to the female reproductive structure (the pistil). This leads to fertilization and the production of fruit or seeds.

Pollutant - A substance that makes land, water, air, etc., dirty and not safe or suitable to use.

Polystyrene Foam - Is a polymer commonly used for packaging. It is light and a great insulator. 

Post-consumer recycled content - Products that were bought, used, and recycled by consumers.  For example, a newspaper that has been purchased, recycled, and used to make another product would be considered post-consumer material. 

Product life-cycle - The life-cycle refers to the period of time and activities extending from materials extraction, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, usage, maintenance, disposal, through end-of-life management of a product. Sustainability products seek to minimize energy, water, fuel and materials consumption at each stage of the cycle and in total.

Pump-out Station - Pump out stations are used to remove wastewater from the holding tanks inside a boat. One of the less enjoyable responsibilities is getting rid of gray and black waste, but it is something that if done properly keeps the water enjoyable for everyone.




Rain Barrel -  A rain barrel is typically a 55 gallon drum that collects and stores rainwater flowing off a roof, allowing you to use the water for your plants, flowers or vegetables. 

Rain Sensor - This type of sensor prevent the irrigation system to be activated while it rain, increasing its efficiency by conserving water. 

Recycling - Its the process to collect waste and convert them into reusable or new materials.

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle - The resources used to make products, as well as those used to package, transport and market those products all create waste. Reduce-Reuse-Recycle is the process to eliminate this waste by reducing packaging materials, reuse containers, materials or parts and recycle waste to be converted into new products. 

Renewable resource - Renewable energy sources are those that are constantly replenished and will never run out.  Renewable energy sources include: solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal, water (ocean energy and hydropower) and hydrogen.

Resiliency - The ability to recover form a misfortune event and the preparation to prevent a misfortune event. 

Right Tree Right Place - Trees are living beings, and as such they thrive and look their most magnificent when they are comfortable in their surroundings. Proper location planning can help you get the most from your trees while helping avoid power service interruptions and other costly mistakes. 

Runoff pollution - Otherwise known as nonpoint source pollution, run-off pollution is caused by rainfall or melting snow moving over and through the ground.  As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, eventually depositing them into wetlands, lakes, rivers, coastal waters and ground waters (U.S. EPA).



Saltwater intrusion -  The movement of saltwater into freshwater aquifers.  Saltwater is able to push inland beneath freshwater because it is denser and has a higher water pressure due to its high mineral content.  Human activities that can contribute to saltwater intrusion are: groundwater pumping from coastal freshwater wells, navigation channels, and agricultural drainage channels.  Saltwater intrusion can also be worsened by naturally occurring events such as hurricane storm surges.

Sea Level Rise - The sea has been rising off and on for thousands of years. Sea level rise itself and fluctuations are normal. 

Sea Turtle - Sea Turtles are considered one of the Earth's most ancient creatures. Their existence goes back to 110 million years, since the time of the dinosaurs. 

Secure Collection Boxes (for Medicine & Needles) - Specialized drop-boxes for collection of expired medications or those no longer needed by the patient.  Secure collection boxes are available through Fort Lauderdale Police, as well as many hospitals and pharmacies.  Medication should never be disposed of in garbage, recycling or yard waste containers, nor flushed down the toilet or poured into any drain (inside or outside).  Minimal exceptions are allowed under strict FDA and DEP guidelines, and according to detailed instructions.

Semi-tropical climate - A zone that has hot humid summers and generally mild winters.  In-between a temperate and tropical climate.

Set-back - A required distance from a lot line or right-of-way line and a building.

Smog - The brownish haze that pollutes our air, particularly over cities in the summer. Smog can make it difficult for some people to breathe and it greatly reduces how far we can see through the air.  The primary component of smog is ozone, a gas that is created when nitrogen oxides react with other chemicals in the atmosphere, especially in strong sunlight (U.S. EPA).

Smoking Vehicle - Are vehicles with poor combustion, releasing a number of harmful chemicals to the environment. 

Solid Waste - Commonly mistaken with garbage, Is a waste type consisting of everyday items that are discarded by the public. 

State of Emergency - A situation of national danger or disaster in which a government suspends normal procedures in order to regain control or recover from any misfortune. 

Storm Drain - Drainage designed to collect and transport stormwater collected from a rain event. 

Storm Drain Marker - This markers are required by EPA to identify the purpose of a storm water drain.

Stormwater Preserve - A stormwater preserve is a natural area that serves four purposes at once: (1) cleanse and store urban stormwater to recharge the aquifer, (2) protect and recover native habitats, (3) provide a public space for recreational use, and (4) support neighborhood livability. It is an excellent example of sustainable urban development.

Stormwater Pollution - Rainwater and water from hoses and sprinklers can wash loose trash down storm drains and into our waterways. Living in Fort Lauderdale means that there are plenty of opportunities for storm water to pick up floating debris due to our frequent summer rainstorms 

Stormy the Fish - He represents all of the millions of fish who live in our city's waterways. 

Sub-tropical - A climate in between temperate and tropical, experiencing similar weather events to those in tropical regions. 

Sun-Trolley - Sun Trolley provide transportation to those who want to explore and experience Fort Lauderdale by trolley. 

Sulfur oxides - Refers to all sulfur oxides, the two major ones being sulfur dioxide (SO2) and sulfur trioxide (SO3).  The largest sources of SO2 emissions are from fossil fuel combustion at power plants (73%) and other industrial facilities (20%).  Smaller sources of sulfur dioxide emissions include industrial processes such as extracting metal from ore, and the burning of high sulfur containing fuels by locomotives, large ships, and non-road equipment.  Sulfur dioxide is linked with a number of adverse effects on the respiratory system (U.S. EPA).

Sustainability - Is the endurance of systems and processes which include four interconnected domains: ecology, economics, politics and culture. 

Sustainable - When all four domains such as ecology, economics, politics and culture are interconnected. 

Sustainability Action Plan - The strategic document which articulates the City of Fort Lauderdale’s specific “green” goals, strategies and performance indicators, and reflects how sustainability will be integrated into all levels of City decision-making, and establishes a system of accountability.

Sustainability Advisory Board - An 11-member group of neighbors, appointed by resolution of the City of Fort Lauderdale Commission, to make recommendations that would “establish the City of Fort Lauderdale as a leader in environmental sustainability.”  The SAB meets monthly.

Sustainability Division - The City of Fort Lauderdale’s team, housed within Public Works, which is responsible for promoting, encouraging, facilitating and implementing environmental, economic and socially responsible practices such as conservation, efficiency, preservation, preparedness, and systemic thinking within City operations and in the larger community.

Sustainable Building - Also known as “Green building" fits within the concept of sustainable development, as it supports sustainability through construction practices that conserve energy and water resources, preserve open spaces, and reduce waste produced by the structure at any point in its life cycle. A building’s life cycle includes the siting, design, construction, operation or use, maintenance, renovation and ultimately deconstruction.

Sustainable Materials Management -In Fort Lauderdale, when we see opportunities, we are testing new methods and new products that could lead to reduced material consumption in City operations. We hope that our neighbors will do the same.

Sustainable Parking Lot - They promote the growth of vegetation and reduce the changes in the permeability of the designated area. It is possible to design urban stormwater structures to mimic the natural processes of water filtration and percolation into the ground. To minimize the likelihood of CSOs, rain needs to slow down and to be soaked up by the soil.  

Swale - A swale is a long narrow depression, which varies in depth from six inches to a few feet and is typically wider than it is deep.  You will find swales in grassy areas alongside sidewalks and streets, but also aside parking lots, long driveways, and near other heavily paved surfaces.


Tree City USA - Designation assigned by the National Association of State Foresters. 

Tree Directory - Use this directory to access planting and care information for over 40 varieties of trees.  Most are ones we would love you to plant, that is they are Florida-friendly, but we've added information on a few invasives too so that you know why they are harmful to our ecosystem

Trees of Distinction - A Tree of Distinction is an outstanding example of its specific tree species. The designation is given by our Urban Forester after consultation with other experts in the field.

Tree Selection - Is the process of selecting a tree based on the needs of the construction or individuals. 

Tree Trimming -  Is the process of trimming the trees without affecting the strength of the roots. 

Tidal Valve - Used to control the flow in a discharge line. 

Transit-oriented development - Or TOD, is the functional integration of land use and transit through the creation of compact, walkable, mixed-use communities within walking distance of a transit stop or station.

Triple Bottom Line - The simultaneous focus on people, planet and profit, towards an end of achieving balance amongst liveability, environmental preservation, and economic prosperity.

Traffic Calming - physical design and other measures to slowdown or reduce vehicle traffic as well as to promote safety for pedestrians. 

Transit - Public transportation designed to reduce vehicular traffic. 


Upcycle - The process of reusing materials that would otherwise be solid waste as products of better quality or environmental caliber. 

Urban agriculture - Urban Agriculture includes community and school gardens, urban farms, backyard and rooftop horticulture, and other innovative food production methods that maximize production in a small area

Urban Canopy - is the layer of leaves, branches and stems that cover the ground when viewed from above.

Urban Design - include limiting urban sprawl, creating civic spaces which support living and working in the same area, connecting these spaces to each other, and increasing walkability. 

Urban Farm - Urban farms can grow the same sort of produce as a community garden, but they may specialize in one or a few varieties or delve into raising animals or beekeeping at the discretion of private owners. Urban farms may be singly owned or owned cooperatively, and they are zoned differently from community gardens

Urban Forest - Its all the trees planted in City of Fort Lauderdale. 

Urban Orchard - A designated area for the sale of fresh vegetables, fruits, animals or organic produce. 


Vacation Stop - This service stop  waste collection services while a property is vacant. 

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) - VOCs are chemicals that evaporate easily (volatilize) at room temperature and often have unhealthy and unpleasant vapors. They come from many products such as adhesives, carpeting, upholstery, paints, solvents, pesticides and cleaning products.


Walkability - The ability to provide a safe area for pedestrians and reduce vehicle traffic. 

Waste - unwanted or not valuable materials. 

Waste Composition - The different components of the waste stream. 

Waste to Energy-  The process of using the heat and vapor produced from the incineration of waste to produce electricity. 

Wastewater -  Otherwise known as sewage, is water that has been used for washing, flushing, or manufacturing etc. Wastewater is differentiated as grey and black water.

Water - A clear, colorless, and essentially odorless and tasteless liquid that makes up the oceans, lakes, and other water bodies, and falls from the sky in the form of rain, and also is the basis of the fluids in all living things. Water is essential for the maintenance of life and health.

Waterway Pollution - The introduction of putrescible waste or harmful materials to our waterways. 

Water Quality - It is a measure of the condition of water relative to the requirements of one or more biotic species and or to any human need 

Water Sense Partner - National brand for water efficiency established by the EPA. 

We Are Wild - The Certified Community Wildlife Habitat™ program is designed to encourage localities to achieve a critical mass of habitat suitable for native species. We have adopted growing habitat as part of the City’s vision and strategic plans, and working towards certification provides us with an accountability system.

Weather - The state of the atmosphere with respect to wind speed and direction, temperature, cloudiness, moisture or humidity, barometric pressure, precipitation, and other scientific measures of atmospheric condition. Weather is not climate.  While Fort Lauderdale’s weather cannot be said to be changing, our climate most definitely is.

Whitefly - Whiteflies are among the many pests that are part of living in a subtropical climate. They can be managed with proper plant cultural practices; use of other beneficial insects, mites and fungi; and judicious application of the appropriate pesticides.  

Wildlife - Living things that are typically undomesticated animals found in all ecosystems. 

Wildlife Habitat - Areas where wild animals live. City of Fort Lauderdale promotes the preservation of wild habitats for our plants and animals.  

Wind Turbine - This turban use the wind to rotate, as they rotate they produce electricity that can be use to power certain equipment.  


Xeriscape - A style of landscape design that requires little or no irrigation or other maintenance.  A common component in xeriscape landscaping is the reduction of lawn grass, since it requires large amounts of water.


Yard Waste - Waste material, generally greenery and other organics, produced in the planting and maintenance of lanscapes and other green spaces.  Plant material is yard waste that should be disposed of through the City's green yard waste carts, or through a nother means that can channel the waste for composting or re-use. Other waste produced while gardening, such as plastic flower pots and empty fertilizer bottles, may be recyclable OR hazardous and requires peciallized disposal.



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