Resolutions, the new year is full of them, some achieved and some quickly abandoned. We believe that, like us, you’ve witnessed the events of 2018 with a renewed sense of the need to create positive, systemic change in 2019. Whether it was the heartbreaking story of critically endangered orca whales in Puget Sound or the alarming number of toxic chemicals you are exposed to in your home or at work, Northwest Green Chemistry spent 2018 working toward solutions. In this newsletter you’ll find information about the critical work we do to protect your health, our environment, and encourage innovation that strengthens the economy. None of this can be accomplished without the cooperation and support of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurs, industry, foundations, and people like you, who care about your environment and your community.

We ask you to consider making a donation of $25, $50, or even a monthly contribution to Northwest Green Chemistry to make an impact on the issues you care about.

In 2019 we’re not backing down from the ongoing fight for safer, more sustainable alternatives to chemicals of concern. From PFAS in food packaging to PCBs and phthalates in water, we work alongside advocates, scientists, and concerned citizens, like you, to inform decision making with applied research results, information on safer alternatives, and good policy recommendations. It can feel overwhelming when you look at the issues, with more than 80,000 chemicals on the market that don’t have full safety information. But we know that the greatest impact comes from dedication, time, stakeholder engagement, a willingness to uncover the facts, and the courage to insist on change.

Please join us this year as we renew our commitment to making the world a better place for our communities, our ecosystems, and your family.

We know that it isn’t enough to drive change today. We have to cultivate the next generation of change agents. Being a catalyst for change in green chemistry and engineering requires courage, purpose, education, and, most of all, the opportunity to engage the world’s most pressing problems. For students of color or women in STEM fields this advancement can be daunting. It isn’t a lack of commitment or ability that keeps the field from being more diverse at every level but a lack of support and inclusive environments.

To address this iniquity, Northwest Green Chemistry will continue its Applied Research and Career Heuristics (ARCH) pilot. ARCH gives students in higher education the chance to create positive change through applied research projects that connect green chemistry and engineering to environmental and social justice concerns while imparting career development skills. Current ARCH students are evaluating public health issues related to PFAS in food packaging; creating guidance to ensure health protection for users of rapidly growing 3D printing technologies; and testing ‘hempcrete’ building materials for affordable housing using different hemp hurd mixes. With your support, and that of foundation partners and government grants, we can expand the ARCH pilot to support diverse STEM students in higher education through evidence-based mentoring, coaching, and by creating inclusive workspaces. Without a sea of change agents, prepared for the challenges of tomorrow, we cannot build a bridge from where we are now to where we want to go in the future.

If you’re interested in sponsoring or engaging in our ARCH program or any of our work at NGC, please contact us: info@northwestgreenchemistry.org. Together we can build momentum for inclusiveness, innovation, and sustainable solutions that create a promising legacy.

Lauren Heine and Anna Montgomery