CCEW 2021 Celebrating Chemistry

Reducing Our Footprint with Chemistry

Celebrating Chemistry: Reducing Our Footprint with Chemistry

In this issue

Reducing Our Footprint with Chemistry

Your enironmental footprint includes the energy, food, water, and materials you use and leave behind. Chemistry—and you!—can help reduce our impact on the Earth.

Activity – Shrink Your Footprint with Shrinky Dinks!

Some kinds of plastic containers bend or shrink when they get too hot. Instead of throwing them away, let’s reuse these types of plastics in a fun way!

Listen Up! The Life Cycle of a Cell Phone

Explore the many stages in the life cycle of a cell phone. What ways we can change how we use them to be better friends to the Earth?

Taking a Bite out of Food Wastage

As the global population gets bigger, one of the biggest challenges the world faces is feeding its people. Every year, food wastage accounts for about one-third of all the food grown around the world. Yikes!

Activity – Find the Footprint of Your Favorite Snacks!

In this activity, you’ll think about the amount of energy and resources needed to make your favorite snack food and get it to you fresh, delicious, and undamaged.

Insulation Keeps Us Warm

Our houses are designed to keep heat in when it's cold outside, and to keep heat out when it's too hot. If we want to conserve energy, insulation is a great way to keep the temperature just right!

Activity – Be Cool.. with Insulation!

On a hot day, there’s nothing better than a cold drink. How can you keep your drink cool for the longest amount of time? Insulate!

Meg A. Mole Interview with Mary Draves

Meg A. Mole, Future Chemist interviews Mary Draves, Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety at Dow.

Getting from Here to There

Most energy from transportation comes from sources like oil and gas, which are not sustainable and have a very large footprint on the Earth. What are some alternative transportation options that have a smaller footprint?

Stylized text reads: "Reducing Our Footprint with Chemistry" in the shape of a footprint
CCEW 2021 Theme Team
  • Rick Rogers, CCEW Chair
  • Neal Abrams, 2021 Chair
  • Susan Hershberger
  • David Katz
  • Alex Madonik
  • Regina Malczewski
  • JaimeLee Rizzo
  • Alexsa Silva
  • Faith Yarberry
Production Team
  • Allison Tau, Editor
  • Eric Stewart, Copyeditor
  • Michael Tinnesand, Copyeditor
  • Rhonda Saunders, Designer
  • Jim Starr, Illustrator
  • Beatriz Hernandez, Translator
Technical and Safety Review Team
  • Lynn Hogue, Consultant
  • Bettyann Howson, Safety Reviewer
  • Ashley Neybert, Accessibility Reviewer
  • Sara Delgado-Rivera, Translation Reviewer
Division of Education
  • LaTrease Garrison, Executive Vice President
  • Lily L. Raines, Manager, Science Outreach
  • Allison Tau, Program Specialist, Science Outreach



The articles and activities used in this publication were written by theme team members of the ACS Committee on Community Activities (CCA) under the leadership of Holly Davis. Meg A. Mole’s interview was written by Kara KasaKaitas. Lastly, ACS would like to acknowledge editorial contributions from the ACS Committee on Ethics.

The activities described in this publication are intended for children under the direct supervision of adults. The American Chemical Society cannot be responsible for any accidents or injuries that may result from conducting the activities without proper supervision, from not specifically following directions, or from ignoring the cautions contained in the text.

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