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- Jerry Dennis, author of The Living Great Lakes
1. Prevention - It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created.
2. Atom Economy - Synthetic methods should be designed to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.
3. Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses - Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.
4. Designing Safer Chemicals - Chemical products should be designed to effect their desired function while minimizing their toxicity.
5. Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries - The use of auxiliary substances (e.g., solvents, separation agents, etc.) should be made unnecessary wherever possible and innocuous when used.
6. Design for Energy Efficiency - Energy requirements of chemical processes should be recognized for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimized. If possible, synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.
7. Use of Renewable Feedstocks - A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.
8. Reduce Derivatives - Unnecessary derivatization (use of blocking groups, protection/ deprotection, temporary modification of physical/chemical processes) should be minimized or avoided if possible, because such steps require additional reagents and can generate waste.
9. Catalysis - Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents.
10. Design for Degradation - Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they break down into innocuous degradation products and do not persist in the environment.
11. Real-time analysis for Pollution Prevention - Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in-process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substances.
12. Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention - Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen to minimize the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions, and fires.
This all sounds like a common sense approach to 'greening up' our industries.
I'll be volunteering for this year’s September Adopt-a-Beach™ Cleanup Event on Sept. 25 at St. Joesph's Silver Beach.
Last year there were over 5,000 people combing the beaches in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Not only is trash gathered, it is also documented and weighed.
It's not too late to sign up! Check out the Alliance for the Great Lakes page.
I hope to see you out there.
And I'll blog about the experience here.
“These grants are a long-overdue investment in a place that is home to millions of Americans, billions of dollars in economic activity, and 95 percent of our nation’s fresh surface water. It’s essential that we act today, and set a new standard of care for the next generation. President Obama has made protecting the Great Lakes a national priority. EPA is investing in a diverse network of partners to put boots on the ground and boats in the water to begin this historic Great Lakes restoration effort.”
Oh, there is one important thing we all can do. Write your representatives in Congress in support of the GLRI.