Volume 3

Are you making Michigan safer, cleaner, and more sustainable?

We’d really like to hear about it.
The DEQ has opened nominations for the fifth annual Michigan Green Chemistry Governor’s Awards and a call for presentations and posters for the Annual GreenUP Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference in Michigan. If you are a student doing interesting work in Green Chemistry or sustainability policy, or a community member that is reducing toxic chemicals in your community, or a company implementing a new product or process that reduces toxic chemicals, please consider applying for a Governor’s Green Chemistry award, and submitting a proposal for a poster or a session at the conference. Mark your calendars! This year we will be in Michigan’s sustainability capitol – Grand Rapids!

Entries must be sent no later than July 19, 2013. The awards will be presented at the 2013 Michigan Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference: “Designing a Sustainable Michigan” which is scheduled October 23-24 at Grand Valley State University. There’s a Student Poster Competition too. [Read More]

Mind the Store Launched!

Do you shop at Walmart, Target, Costco, Kroger, Walgreens, Home Depot, CVS, Lowe’s, BestBuy or Safeway? (If you don’t, you might be the only American who doesn’t!). Have you ever wondered about toxic chemicals that might be in products that you purchase at these stores? In April, a large national coalition announced a new campaign called Mind the Store to ask retailers to find the worst chemicals in products on their store shelves, and to make a commitment to remove those chemicals with safer alternatives over time. [Take Action]

The Senate attempts to move into the 21st Century!

Virtually every other major environmental statute from the 1970’s has been revised and updated. One glaring exception is the law governing industrial chemicals – chemicals we are exposed to in the products we use every day. After Senators Lautenberg and Gillibrand – along with 27 cosponsors – introduced a bill to update our failed system, something surprising happened. Senators Vitter and Lautenberg negotiated a compromise bill. Environmentalists are calling for major changes to the bipartisan bill before it will pass muster. Some industry groups have expressed support. The Green Chemistry support provisions in the Lautenberg bill have been removed from the new bill. Many view the existing weak law as a major disincentive to innovation including Green Chemistry solutions.

Example environmental perspectives on the bill:
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families

Chemical industry trade association positions on the bill:
American Chemistry Council

Other News

Next Generation Science Standards
The Michigan Green Chemistry Roundtable commented on the new science standards released in April. Michgan is one of 26 states that will adopt the standards that recognize our interdependence with nature!

Green Chemistry Webinars
Free monthly public webinars on green chemistry topics.

What We’re Reading…

Looking for some stimulating and provocative reading about green chemistry and sustainability:

Bill McDonough: ‘Upcycling’ and Sustainable Design
William McDonough and Michael Braungart have a new book out called The Upcycle, a fascinating look at the latest thinking on truly sustainable design. You can hear an interview with William McDonough here. Google Upcycle and learn about some fascinating practitioners.

Bio-based chemicals: When green is toxic
A GreenBiz article by Mike Belliveau of Environmental Health Strategy Center challenging the idea that being bio-based is green enough. Sourcing renewable feedstocks is just the first step in making a material really green and sustainable.

A New Tool to Design Safer Products
New tools are on the horizon to assist in designing safer chemicals. These tools help designers interested in making products that aren’t hazardous.

CATALYST is a quarterly newsletter compiled by the Ecology Center for the public audience of the Michigan Green Chemistry Clearinghouse.

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CATALYST Back Issues

CATALYST is a periodic newsletter highlighting advances in developing products and chemicals that are safer for people and the environment. CATALYST was compiled by the Ecology Center for the general public on behalf of the Michigan Green Chemistry Clearinghouse.

Click below to view CATALYST Newsletters: