Story of Stuff on Why Green Chem is Good For AllNovember 12, 2013
Annie Leonard is trying to change our throw-away culture. “We have a problem with Stuff,” she says on her Story of Stuff Project website. “We use too much, too much of it is toxic and we don’t share it very well. But that’s not the way things have to be. Together, we can build a society based on better not more, sharing not selfishness, community not division.”
In case you missed it, the project’s podcast just produced an episode on Green Chemistry. The episode provides a tidy summary of the problem with our 37-year old Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA). Bev Thorpe of Clean Production Action describes how lax federal control over chemical production has allowed our world to be flooded with products that contain harmful chemicals. The solution, Thorpe says, has to come from many sides: businesses, government, and consumers.
For all of these sides, the solution involves applying the principles of Green Chemistry. Green Chemistry, which involves designing products to be safer throughout their life-cycle, offers a new way of thinking about our relationship to stuff – how it’s made, how we use it, and how we re-use it.
Thorpe suggests that businesses using green chemistry principles can save costs and resources, minimize risks, and stay ahead of constraining regulations. The episode also mentions a useful resource for consumers: the Workgroup for Safe Markets. This workgroup provides tools and resources to help people find safer products, reduce toxic exposures, and get involved in the movement toward safer chemicals.
– Cyrus Philbrick