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7 Definitions of Organic

 , updated on July 05, 2016
The term organic describes things as being natural or as relating to nature. The following are a few common uses of the term.

Food & Products

Food and products that are completely natural. For example, produced in a way that doesn't use synthetic chemicals, genetically modified organisms or artificial ingredients.

Organic Farming

Farming that produces organic food. This generally means that no synthetic chemicals or genetically modified organisms are used in processes related to food production such as pest control, fertilization, soil rotation and food processing.

Shape & Form

A shape or form that looks as if it is natural in origin. Typically used to describe shapes and forms that give the impression that they were drawn by hand.


Organic design is the use of organic shapes and forms in design. Not to be confused with sustainable design.


Organic architecture is the design of buildings and structures to use natural materials and principles with the goal of producing buildings that complement green space much like an element of a garden.

Organic Growth

Organic growth is an expansion in business activities such as improved revenue that a company achieves internally. Acquisitions and mergers are considered inorganic.

Organic Chemistry

Chemistry related to chemicals that contain carbon atoms. Such chemicals are not necessarily natural occurring.


The term organic is defined by the laws and regulations of nations. As such, products typically can't use terms such as "100% Organic" unless they are certified to comply with applicable laws.


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Adaptive Reuse
Broken Window Fallacy
Carbon Concrete
Cascading Failure
Circular Economy
CO2 Per Capita
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Comparative Risk
Creeping Normality
Cultural Lag
Deep Water Cooling
Disaster Preparedness
District Heating
Do No Harm
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Dollar Voting
Economic Bad
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Embodied Energy
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Global Change
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Happiness Index
High-Speed Rail
Human Scale
Jevons Paradox
Keyhole Garden
Land Footprint
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Living Street
Market Failure
Missing Market
Moral Hazard
Natural Capital
Natural Resources
Nearly Car Free
Noise Pollution
Ocean Plastic Cleanup
Outside Context Problem
Passive Design
Point Of No Return
Precautionary Principle
Product Transparency
Quality Of Life
Race To The Bottom
Rainwater Harvesting
Resilient Cities
Safety By Design
Slow Design
Slow Movement
Smart Glass
Social Responsibility
Soft Engineering
Sunlight Transport
Sustainable Design
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Sustainable Lighting
Sustainable Materials
Tactical Urbanism
Urban Density
Urban Design
Urban Heat Island
Waste Is Food
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