FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Thu Apr 09 16:42:03 EDT 2009

Chemists celebrate Earth Day: “Air—The Sky’s the Limit!”

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2009 — The American Chemical Society’s (ACS) observance of Earth Day on April 22 — Chemists Celebrate Earth Day 2009 — will include a wide variety of community activities focusing on the program’s theme, "Air—The Sky’s the Limit.”

This annual event unites ACS local sections, businesses, schools and individuals in communicating the importance of chemistry to the quality of life. The general international Earth Day was created in 1970 to celebrate Earth's life and beauty and to emphasize the need for preserving and renewing the threatened ecological balances upon which all life on this planet depends.

Activities planned by ACS Local Sections and Student Affiliate across the nation this spring include informing the public of ways they can reduce their carbon footprints. Check http://www.acs.org/earthday for details about Earth Day activities.

Here are some ways to help protect the environment on Earth Day and throughout the year:

  • Tour a recycling center or a laboratory or government facility that monitors the Earth, soil, water, plants, atmosphere or the weather;
  • Encourage members of your community to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by walking, bicycling or using public transportation; and
  • Hold a theme-related awareness event at a library, school or other public site.

Some things that Chemists Celebrate Earth Day participants will learn about are:

  • Hydroelectricity accounts for 20 percent of the world’s electricity.
  • The first wind farm in the United States was established in New Hampshire in 1980.
  • Producing 20 percent of the nation’s electricity from wind power would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 800 million tons.

Among the numerous ongoing, environmental-related initiatives of the American Chemical Society is the ACS Green Chemistry Institute (www.acs.org/greenchemistry ), which addresses environmental issues throughout the year. Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.

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