Ecopedia

Ecomedia Letter: u

Umbrella Species

A species whose survival protects a whole lot more species that are linked to it by shared habitat or ecosystem. Usually an animal that is relatively easy to relate to, and gets the public concerned over. For example koala bears, which would in conserving also benefit the trees, animals and even insects that share its habitat.

Unbleached

Not bleached or whitened. Unbleached fabric means less potentially harmful bleach was used. It also means fibers are often softer and easier to clean. Unbleached cotton, linen and hemp products are often cheaper, better for your wallet and better for the environment!

Upcycling

The recycling of materials into a better quality product than the original product, for example a water bottle into a jacket or juice packets into women's handbags.

Urban Heat Island Effect

The city and urban areas tend to have more concrete, which retains heat much more than vegetation. As a result, urban and city areas are often warmer than surrounding rural areas by as much as 10 degrees! To help reduce the heat island effect, plant more vegetation, paint roofs white and encourage city planners to include parks, roof gardens and trees in plans and re-development.

Urban Sprawl

The expansion of urban landscapes into the surrounding areas of countryside. Urban sprawl is building on top of much fantastic farming land, as well as wildlife habitat all over the world. Many cities are putting into place polices to make the urban environment denser rather than letting it expand. Dense urban environments can be planned to accomodate more people in a more efficent way than sprawl.

Utility Grid

The organization of infrastructure that provides a utility such as water, electricity or sewage to a population. The structure of grids in future may be remolded to allow inputs of electricity, for example in non traditional locations such as homes or businesses that have solar or wind power which can sell power back to the grid.

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