SUMMARY: Green Chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. It’s pollution prevention at the molecular level. The examples of Green Chemistry are not only really cool, they are an important part of the generation and use of safer alternatives. Not using hazardous substances is the cheapest and best way to avoid impacts to human health and the environment now and way into the future.
BIO: Holly Davies is the Toxic Policy Coordinator for the Washington State Department of Ecology. Washington State is a leader in innovative chemical policy for preventing exposure to toxic chemicals, including chemicals of emerging concern. Holly has been instrumental in this work, including Chemical Action Plans, individual product bans, disclosure under the Children's Safe Products Act, and our state Green Chemistry Roadmap. She was recently appointed to EPA’s new Chemical Safety Advisory Committee and actively participates in the Children's Environmental Health Working Group within the Washington chapter of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment.
Links for learning more:
1. Green Chemistry: Washington State Department of Ecology’s main page on Green Chemistry includes information on case studies, education, and other resources for students and other groups.
2. Northwest Green Chemistry (independent center)
3. EPA’s green chemistry page: includes the basics of green chemistry, funding opportunities, the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge, EPA’s Safer Choice program, and other resources.
4. Green Chemistry Education; Beyond Benign: K-12 Education at Beyond Benign explores curriculum content with a view to the future and the sustainability of social, industrial, economic and environmental sustainability. Curriculum materials take an independent stance where students are put in the position of decision maker and scientific issues are put under a neutral microscope.
5. Beyond Waste: Washington State’s Waste Reduction Plan for managing hazardous and solid waste. This 30-year plan has a clear and simple goal: eliminate wastes and toxics whenever we can and use the remaining wastes as resources. This will contribute to economic, social, and environmental health. Avoiding wastes and the use of toxic chemicals is the smartest, cheapest, and healthiest approach to waste management. The Beyond Waste Plan shifts from a reactive approach, focusing on management and clean-up, to a proactive approach, with an emphasis on preventing waste in the first place.
6. A Way With Waste - Washington State Department of Ecology: A K-12 curriculum framework with extended resource pages. These lessons were crafted years ago but the ideas and structure are still a great foundation for developing lessons.