Volume 5

Calling all Michigan Science Teachers

Do you teach science? Do you know science teachers? Are your kids in science class? Have you asked the teachers you know if they have incorporated the principles of Green Chemistry into their lesson plans? Michigan is working toward a leadership position in Green Chemistry education, but we need your help! So far, two research institutions in Michigan have signed the Green Chemistry Commitment, and one of the largest is on the cusp, but we need more universities to make the pledge. Michigan has the first high school in the nation to offer Green Chemistry training for every student, but we need more high schools engaged. Some middle school teachers are piloting fun, innovative and very engaging Green Chemistry lesson plans, but we are looking for more. You can learn more about Green Chemistry education efforts, or join us.

To learn more about the Green Chemistry Commitment: click here.
To learn more about Michigan’s Green Chemistry Education Network: click here.
To talk more about Green Chemistry curriculum opportunities: Call Tracey at 734-369-9268

Great Ideas Wanted!

Are you a leader in making products and materials that are safer for health and the environment? Do you do that at your company, at your school, or in your community? If so, we would love to feature you in a video about Michigan innovators. We will be featuring leaders in Green Chemistry in Michigan as part of a video series on Michigan innovators. To see a selection of videos we’ve produced from the GreenUp Conference, go to: https://migreenchemistry.org/public/green-chemistry-stories/

If you have a great Green Chemistry story to tell, contact Tracey Easthope at tracey@ecocenter.org

Save the Date: November 12, 2014 at MSU

You can pick up your Governor’s award, or just learn a lot about what’s happening in Michigan around Green Chemistry innovation in business, policy and education at the 6th Annual GreenUP Conference hosted by MSU this year. The Conference will be held at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing this year.

For more information about the GreenUp Conference, see GreenUp Conference details.

Your Checklist for Culture Change

Are you looking for an easy way to measure milestones toward creating a culture of innovation? Looking for a step-by-step guide to create the structure necessary to develop safer products and adopt Green Chemistry practices? The Michigan Green Chemistry Roundtable has developed a new tool to do just that called The Green Chemistry Checklist: A Guide for Businesses. The Checklist is in the pilot phase. As most businesses know, customers are increasingly expecting companies to show leadership in developing safer products to protect health and the environment. Please explore this guide as a tool to help do that.

For more information about the Green Chemistry Checklist, you can find details on the Michigan Green Chemistry Clearinghouse website.

Minnesota says NO to triclosan + a new report

Triclosan is probably in your medicine cabinet, under your sink, and in your shower. The antibacterial agent is commonly used in soaps, toothpastes and personal care products, but it can end up in your body, and in the Great Lakes. Minnesota became the first state in the nation to ban triclosan from these common items based on evidence that triclosan is building up in lake and river sediment. Gross!!!! It also may be helping to create antibiotic resistance, a very serious problem that can mean reducing our arsenal of life saving antibiotics. The FDA has determined that triclosan is no more effective than soap and water for most common uses. And just recently, a group of NGO’s released a new report on the hazards of triclosan in the Great Lakes.

For more information about Minnesota’s triclosan ban, and the new report by the Canadian Environmental Law Association and Clean Production Action: Chemicals in Consumer Products are Draining Trouble into the Great Lakes Ecosystem, see:

Mainstreaming Green Chemistry

How do we move from Green Chemistry from a niche concern to something practiced by everyone formulating a molecule, making a product, designing a process or teaching about chemistry? The Green Chemistry and Commerce Council assembled experts to answer that question.

From the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council: It is 20 years since the EPA initiated its Green Chemistry program and 15 since the publication of Paul Anastas’ and John Warner’s seminal book Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice that defined and presented twelve principles of green chemistry, catalysing a field of chemistry that combines molecular development with sustainability. But while Green Chemistry is now a more common, supported, and understood practice, it still remains a marginal consideration in chemicals research, education, and product design.

The Green Chemistry and Commerce Council has engaged a small working group with representation from the business, government, not-for-profit, and academic sectors to develop An Agenda for Mainstreaming Green Chemistry.

Read more:
Mainstreaming Green Chemistry

Plastics made from used cooking oil

SABIC announced plans to transform oil from the deep fryer into low-density polyethylene for use in food packaging and other flexible plastic applications. Stay tuned to learn more about the details.
Read more here.

Garlic as a catalyst

From the Green Chemistry Newsletter: We know that garlic is a healthy food but now researchers in Egypt have shown that garlic can catalyse reactions! The Biginelli condensation reaction is commonly used to react together aldehydes, ketoesters and urea (or thiourea). Here this reaction is used to make biologically important pyrimidines. The reaction occurs at room temperature and is catalysed by a crushed garlic clove. Product yields are generally very good and occur with only small amounts of the added catalyst.

The Green Chemistry Newsletter is a gem. They publish regularly and the newsletters are filled with summaries of interesting emerging science. You can find the newsletter here.

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: