Go Green With Your ACS Student Chapter
ACS student chapters are organizations for undergraduate students interested in chemical sciences. Student chapters provide enriching educational experiences and prepare members for successful careers in chemistry. As a member of a student chapter, you can participate in programs and activities that enrich your exploration of green and sustainable chemistry.
ACS recognizes student chapters based on the programs and activities described in your annual chapter report. Completing at least three green chemistry activities will make your chapter eligible for the Green Chemistry Student Chapter Award, in addition to the main Student Chapter Awards. If your chapter completes three or more green chemistry outreach or educational activities during the school year, you will have a chance to receive a Green Chemistry Student Chapter Award.
Green Chemistry Activity Guidelines
In order for an activity to count as one of your three green chemistry activities for the academic year, it must meet the following criteria:
- The activity must include green chemistry.
- At least 6 chapter members must participate in the activity and the discussion.
- You must report your discussion takeaways in your Chapter Report at the end of the year.
To help your members get started, watch this presentation from the Green Chemistry Institute and read the following InChemistry article: Take Your Chapter to the Next Level with Green Chemistry. The following guides can also help you plan specific types of student chapter activities:
Green Chemistry Activities
Completing at least three of the following green chemistry activities will help your student chapter qualify for a green chemistry award:
The Evolving Periodic Table and the Future of Energy Storage
What are the challenges of working with endangered or critical elements? Learn about alternative methods for extracting and processing endangered elements and explore sustainable energy production.
- Watch the Video: The Evolving Periodic Table and its Incredible Elements
- Complete the Activity: Green Chemistry Student Activity: The Evolving Periodic Table and the Future of Energy Storage
Voyage to Mars
Space travel is long, arduous and perilous. How can astronauts use green and sustainable chemistry processes to sustain life on a long-haul space mission?
- Watch the Video: Voyage to Mars: Red Planet Chemistry
- Complete the Activity: Green Chemistry Student Activity: Green Chemistry and Engineering in the Final Frontier
How can chemistry help protect our oceans? Lean about the plastic pollution in our oceans, understand the basics of polymers and how to make a biopolymer, and discover innovative ideas by chemists who apply green principles to develop more sustainable materials.
EPA's Safer Choice Program
Learn about the EPA's Safer Choice Program, what makes a safer product and how companies are using the Safer Choice Program to guide their innovation process.
- Watch the Video: EPA Safer Choice Program
- Complete the Activity: Formulate your own hand soap using the Safer Choice Criteria
Examples of Successful Green Chemistry Student Projects
Get ideas for your own chapter activities from these ACS Student Chapters whose members completed outstanding green chemistry projects:
Examples of Ineligible Activities
It is important to note that your chapter’s green chemistry projects must incorporate learning about chemical processes. For example, an Earth Day celebration cannot not count toward the green chemistry activity requirements, but an Earth Day celebration that features a relevant chemistry activity could. These are examples of 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