Definitions

LEARN

Discover definitions around sustainability. 

Sometimes we see or read some BIG words and we might not know what they mean. 

Sonny and Skye have broken down some of these words for everyone to understand. 

Come have a look at what some of Sonny and Skye’s favourite words mean!

 

Sustainability Definitions

infrastructure

Buildings, machinery or equipment (resources) that are available to be used to manage, collect or provide services for water, waste or collect and use energy.

Reduce

To make smaller or use less of.

resource management

How we look after and make decisions on what to do with our resources.

Reuse

To use again in the same way. However, some items can also be used again in a new and different way, for example an empty jam jar with a lid can be reused to store things in safely.

processed

Turned into something new.

natural resources

Something found in nature which can be used by people. Earth’s natural resources include water, light, air, soil and the ground. 

recycle

To process or turn old things into new things; reuse materials to make new items.

resources

A stock or supply of things such as money, materials, people or things used to make or collect natural resources such as energy, water and use of our land or soil.

sustainability

Meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 

climate change

A long-term change in the average weather patterns. 

Energy Definitions

coal

A black or brownish-black fossil fuel that is burned to make energy.

Energy

Power that comes from using physical or chemical resources. Provides light, heat and works machines.

finite

Limited. It will run out one day.

Hydropower

Power that is made from water.

non-renewable energy

Unable to be replenished. It is finite.

Renewable energy

Energy from a source that does not run out when it is used, like wind or solar power.

wind turbine

A device that converts the wind’s energy into electricity.

Electricity

The flow of tiny particles that can create energy.

Energy Efficiency

Using less energy to perform the same task.

Fossil fuel

A natural fuel such as coal or gas formed in the past and made from the remains of living organisms.

Natural Gas

A fossil fuel that can be burned to make energy.

power

To give something mechanical or electrical energy.

Solar power

Energy that comes from the sun’s rays.

Wind power

Power that is made from wind, through the use of a wind turbine.

Waste Definitions

Avoid

To choose not to use something or to make a better choice.

biodegradable

Able to be broken down naturally by micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi.

contamination

Something that should not be in the yellow lid bin or the green lid bin. For example, in the yellow bin contamination could be food or drink left in the containers.

fungi (fungus)

A living kingdom of lots of tiny spore organisms like mould, yeast and mushrooms 

microorganisms

Microscopic single celled organisms that thrive and can help us out by breaking down organic (once living) matter when it is died.

microscopic

So small you can only see with a microscope.

rot

To decompose or separate into smaller parts or pieces due to the action of fungi or bacteria.

bacteria

Microscopic single celled organisms that thrive and can help us out by breaking down organic (once living) matter when it is died.

breakdown

Organic (once living) matter decomposes or separates into smaller parts or pieces due to the action of fungi or bacteria.

decompose

Organic (once living) matter rots or breaks down into smaller parts or pieces due to the action of fungi or bacteria.

litter

Things that have been carelessly disposed of or thrown away.

microplastics

Tiny pieces of plastic that are between the size of a grain of sand and a grain of rice they are so small.

organism

A living thing that has an organised structure that can grow and adapt.

rubbish

Stuff that has been thrown away or unwanted.

Water Definitions

Black Water

 Waste water and sewerage from toilets.

Condensation

 The process of turning water from gas to liquid.

Drought Tolerant

Something, usually a plant, that can go a long time without water.

Evaporation

 The process of turning water from liquid to gas.

Grey Water

Waste water from baths, sinks, washing machines and other kitchen appliances.

Pathogens

Tiny living things which can be harmful to us and make us sick

reservoir

A very large storage space for drinking water.

Waste water

Water that has been made dirty from human use

Water treatment plant

A place which takes out any particles that can be harmful to humans.

catchment

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. .

Conserve

To protect or save.

Drought

A long time between rainfall, which can lead to a water shortage.

Infiltration

How water on the ground surface enters the soil.

Laboratory

A place where treated water is tested to ensure it’s always safe for us to drink .

precipitation

A big word that means water falling from the sky. Or in other words -rain!

treated water

A process that ensures our drinking water is of a high standard.

Water efficiency

The smart use of water, to avoid wasting it. 

Wicking Bed

An Australian invention which waters plants from below, rather than above.

Let us have fun

Getting involved

Let's Play

Games

Play the Sonny the Sustainability Arcade Games and test your skills

Let's Play

Colouring Sheets

Download some fun water, waste and energy colouring in sheets here.

Let's Learn

Sonny

Join Sonny and Skye on their mission to scout more ways to be sustainable always.

Let's Learn

STORIES

Read Sonny's top tips for recycling and other great sustainability stories.

Let's Learn

ACTIVITY SHEETS

Earn Water, Waste and Energy badges with Sonny and Skye!

Let's Learn

FACT SHEETS

A range of fact sheets to help you become more sustainable.

PARENT TEACHER RESOURCES

Let's power change
with Sonny and Skye.

FOR CHILDREN

If you enjoy fun, games, and learning about our environment you will love joining Sonny and Skye on their mission to scout out ways we can be sustainable always.

 

Find out more >

FOR TEACHERS AND PARENTS

Content on this site has been designed using the NSW and Australian Curriculum syllabus outcomes for Stages 1, 2 and 3. The information and fact sheets have the relevant syllabus outcomes listed.

Find out more >

Stay up to date

Get notified about and articles, resources, videos and stories.