Green Chemistry Activities

Go Green with your ACS Student Chapter.  

Are you part of an ACS Student Chapter? Do three or more green chemistry outreach or educational activities during the school year for a chance to win a Green Chemistry Student Chapter Award.

Get started with these green chemistry activities.

Chemists Celebrate Earth Week: Dive into Marine Chemistry

Celebrate Earth Week with an informative webinar and fun activity creating biopolymers. 

ACS Student Chapters:
To count this activity as one of your green chemistry activities and get one step closer to winning the Green Chemistry ACS Student Chapter Award please get at least 6 members together and WATCH the webinar, READ the journal article, DO the activity, and HOST a discussion.

Webinar: Riding the Wave of Green Chemistry: How to Enhance Awareness of Plastics in the Ocean 
April 25, 2018, 2 p.m. ET

Plastics permeate every aspect of our society. Although, students and the public recognize their many benefits, reports of their alarming buildup in our oceans and resulting harm to aquatic life is a topic that resonates with all.

Join Jane Wissinger of University of Minnesota and Reuben Hudson of Colby College in a free interactive webinar for Chemists Celebrate Earth Week. During this special broadcast, Jane and Reuben will highlight outreach and curriculum materials that teach polymer basics, how plastics are reaching our oceans, and innovations by chemists who apply green principles to develop more sustainable materials.

Register for the Webinar

From Lobster Shells to Plastic Objects: A Bioplastics Activity
J. Chem. Educ.  92, 11, 1882-1885

CCEW 2018 ACS Student Chapter Green Chemistry Activity
Background, activity instructions, discussion questions and discussion leader notes

More about Chemists Celebrate Earth Week.

Beyond Benign's Higher Education Webinar Series: EPA's Safer Choice

Learn about the EPA's Safer Choice Program, what makes a safer product and how companies are using the Safer Choice to guide their innovation process. This webinar was recorded on February 13, 2018.

ACS Student Chapters: Need a green chemistry activity idea? Watch this recorded webinar together and participate in the suggested activity! 

Webinar recording

Activity: Formulate your own hand soap using the Safer Choice criteria

Get ideas from these successful green chemistry activities.

Gordon College ACS Student Chapter member expains ocean acidification to children at the Homecoming Science Carnival.

UCLA Student Chapter (SMACS) demonstrates how to make personal care products from natural, vegetable-based sources.

Northeastern University Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (NUSAACS) demonstrate using cabbage water as a pH indicator.

West Virginia State University Student Chapter teaches kids about biodegradability by comparing starch-based packing peanuts with polystyrene peanuts.

Get more ideas with these green chemistry "how-to" guides.

These guides, designed for students, provide in-depth instructions on conducting green chemistry activities. Student chapters are encouraged to think creatively about their activities, but are invited to make use of the examples provided. 

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For ACS Student Chapters

What qualifies as a green chemistry activity?

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Ineligible activities

  • Park, stream, road or other clean-up 
  • Recycling drive 
  • Water monitoring Reusing materials from past reports 
  • Earth Day celebration without green chemistry component specified 
  • Any activity with only one member involved 
  • Attending three talks by home university professors 
  • General sustainability practices, (e.g. using biodegradable coffee filters) 
  • Most movie screenings (especially when only linked to climate change without a chemistry context) 
  • Outreach activities or demos with no green chemistry component