Sustainability in Education and Green Chemistry

Green chemistry plays important role in the sustainability environment. However, green chemistry also could integrate to education process to hold up the sustainability in education (Warren, 2001).. Even though, the research studies in green chemistry education are less conducted compared to green chemistry in chemical process, but I believe that education can play an important role to solve environmental problems. Teachers can play important role to support sustainability in education, for example educate the students to solve environmental problems such as reducing the waste in laboratory (Michail, Stamou, G, Stamou, G, 2006). Furthermore, in the laboratory, teachers not only need to be aware of the students’ safety in using chemical substances but also waste management to reduce environmental pollution. Applying green chemistry approach in school laboratory such as teacher can substitute chemical dangerous substances with the less dangerous, use small-scale laboratory equipment, and manage the waste. Those are parts of green chemistry approach, which aim to reduce chemical dangerous substances (Lancaster, 2002). It is also important to increase students’ awareness of environmental problems by involving green chemistry approach in curriculum. Furthermore, the teachers can improve students’ understanding of the importance of environmental sustainability. As a result, the students can participate actively in sustainability through their education.

Furthermore, there are 12 principles of green chemistry which are 1) prevention atom, 2) economy, 3) less hazardous chemical syntheses, 4) designing safer chemicals, 5) safer solvents and auxiliaries, 6) design for energy efficiency, 7) use of renewable feedstocks, 8) reduce derivatives, 9) catalysis, 10) design for degradation, 11) real-time analysis for pollution prevention, 12) inherently safer chemistry for accident prevention.

The philosophy beyond this green chemistry approaches is it is better to prevent the waste than manage the waste. As a result, the process which involves green chemistry approaches should refer to the ideas of prevention the waste. For example, using the less dangerous chemical substances and less quantity will result the less waste.

Furthermore, I found that some research studies in green chemistry such as including green chemistry in curriculum. However, the more interesting and powerful is how this approach could empower the students to active participating in sustainability environment in their society. As a result, education is not only the process of transfer the knowledge of sustainability, but also could stimulate students in agenda for social reconstruction.

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