Unit 2 Vocabulary with Definitions

Unit 2 – Sustainability Vocabulary Definitions
Natural Resources - natural things (land, water, air) that you would use
Agriculture - impacts land, primary use is farming and herding of animals
Peat - the first stage that coal passes through, partially decayed plant material
(sometimes like soil)
Uranium - an important metal, a radioactive material that can be decayed and
used as a power source
Alternative Energy Sources - different ways to get power/energy (clean energy
– wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric)
Renewable Resources - resources that are virtually inexhaustible or that can be
replenished over relatively short time spans
Nonrenewable Resources - resources that take millions of years to form (can’t
get some back)
Coal - important fossil fuel, formed when heat and pressure transform plant
material over millions of years
Fossil Fuels - any hydrocarbon that may be used as a source of energy
Point Source Pollution - water pollution that comes from a known and specific location
Nonpoint Source Pollution - water pollution that does not have a specific point
of origin
Runoff - water that flows over the land surface rather than seeping into the
Sustainability - living on Earth in a way that allows humans to use its resources
without depriving future generations of the resources
Urbanization - the transfer of land into an urban area
Deforestation - the cutting down of a forest to use the lumber for human use
Harvesting - when crops are gathered for human consumption – can lead to erosion
Mining - when people dig up large areas of land to gain resources (ex. gems,
coal, etc)
Drilling - using heavy machinery to obtain resources from deep underground (ex. oil)
Plutonium - another nuclear energy source, radioactive
Conservation - the careful use of resources