Student Chapters

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.
  • 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.

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?


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.

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

ACS GCI's Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference

The 27th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference will be held June 13-15, 2023 in Long Beach, CA on the theme, Closing the Loop: Chemistry for a Sustainable Future.