By Emily Orme, communications, Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction program
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded Ecology and Northwest Green Chemistry with a Safer Choice Partner of the Year award for our ongoing work supporting and promoting EPA's Safer Choice Program.
What is Safer Choice?
The EPA created the Safer Choice label (formerly known as Design for the Environment) to help consumers identify products with safer chemical ingredients. Every ingredient in Safer Choice products is evaluated to check for harmful effects to human health and the environment. To earn the Safer Choice label, products must not only use safer chemicals, they must also work just as well as competing products.
Green chemistry at Ecology
Partnering with EPA on Safer Choice is just one way Ecology is working to find safer alternatives and develop green chemistry solutions.Green chemistry is a way to design chemicals and processes so they are safer, healthier and more sustainable.
To support green chemistry innovation and education, Ecology hosts webinars and trainings, works with educators to develop green chemistry curriculum and supports Washington manufacturers that are finding ways to create safer products. Our chemists also help local manufacturers assess the safety of the chemicals they use and find safer alternatives.
We also partner with Northwest Green Chemistry, a nonprofit focused on advancing green chemistry science and technology. Northwest Green Chemistry works to integrate green chemistry into education and training and inspire innovations that can make safer products profitable.
Our annual Safer Chemistry Champion Awards recognize Washington companies that have made significant impacts in green chemistry or cleaner manufacturing. Earth Friendly Products, a 2014 award winner, makes household cleaners and detergents at its facility in Lacey.
With the 2015 Safer Chemistry Champion Awards coming up this fall, we're excited to see how more companies are making their products safer for people and the environment!