Want a Green Job? Speak the Lingo

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If you want a job in the Green industry, you better learn the language. With more Americans out of work and more than 750,000 green jobs vacant -- 85 percent of them in metropolitan areas and in the agriculture, construction, manufacturing, research, consulting, and engineering fields -- the competition to get a interview for one of these positions will be tough.

However, if you make it clear in your cover letter or resume that you know the difference between a carbon footprint and an ecological footprint, you may push yourself to the top of the job candidates' list.

The following terms may come up in your interview, or you may see them in job descriptions. Before you apply for or interview for a green job you should know what you're talking about and getting up to speed is simple. PeopleandPlanet.net found 10 basic terms to get you started: 1.) Bio-gas: A combustible gas (composed primarily of methane) produced when sewage or manure is fermented in the absence of oxygen. The solid material that remains in the digester after fermentation can be used as an organic fertilizer. 2.) Carbon footprint: A measure of the amount of carbon dioxide produced by a person, organization, or location at a given time. This can include food grown, eaten and disposed of, or the amount of gas you use to travel. 3.) Ecological footprint: Something which has permanently damaged or had a negative impression the environment; the impact of humans on ecosystems created by their overuse of land, water, and other natural resources. 4.) Energy budget: An accounting of the flow of energy through a system. Originally applied by ecologists to ecosystems, the approach is also useful in industry to check the energy efficiency of industrial processes. 5.) Fossil fuels: Fuels such as coal, oil and gas made by decomposition of ancient animal and plant remains which give of carbon dioxide when burned. 6.) Heavy metals: Elements such as copper, lead, cadmium, mercury, and other toxic metals used in industrial processes and often released as both air and water pollutants. They may accumulate to hazardous concentrations in sediments and sludge. 7.) Hydrocarbons: Air pollutants that are important precursors of smog. These chemical compounds are generally released as unburned or incompletely burned residue when carbon-containing fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas are burned in car or truck engines 8.) Integrated waste management: A strategy that employs several waste management methods, usually in the following order of preference: source reduction, recycling and reuse, incineration, and disposal in landfills. 9.) Non-renewable resource: A natural resource that cannot be replaced after it has been consumed. It applies particularly to fossil fuels, which can only be used once, but it also describes other mineral resources that are present in only fixed quantities in the earth's crust, although metals can be reused through recycling. Central to the concept is human time frame. Oil and natural gas are being formed beneath the earth's surface at present and new mineral ores are also being created. However, replacement may take millions of years, and society can consume them much more rapidly that they can be replaced. Thus in human terms they are effectively non-renewable. 10.) Sustainable development: it refers to economic development that meets the needs of all without leaving future generations with fewer natural resources than those we enjoy today. It is widely accepted that achieving sustainable development requires balance between three dimensions of complementary change.

The green industry is one of the few that is growing, and looking for qualified employees. Your prior experience in the service, coupled with the knowledge of this industry's lingo will make you one of the more desirable candidates for a green-collar job. If you want more information about green-collar jobs or to find a veteran that already works in this industry visit Military.com's Veterans Career Network.

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